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NAIA Football Players of the Week No. 9

November 09, 2015
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Josh Harris of Georgetown (Ky.), Connor Niles of Morningside (Iowa) and Jacob Russell of Campbellsville (Ky.) were named NAIA Football National Players of the Week, the national office announced Monday. The trio, who are the final national weekly award winners for the 2015 season, were chosen for their performances during the week of Nov. 2 – 8 and were selected out of a pool of conference award winners.

National Defensive Player of the Week
Josh Harris, Georgetown (Ky.)
Jr., DB, Maysville, Ky.

• Tallied 20 total tackles – 16 solo stops – in Georgetown’s 30-13 win against then-No. 20 Cumberlands (Ky.) last Saturday.
• Added two tackles for loss.
• Blocked an extra point attempt early in the second quarter to keep the momentum in the Tigers’ favor.
• Leads the team in tackles with 64 on the season.
• First career National Defensive Player of the Week honor.

National Special Teams Player of the Week
Connor Niles, Morningside (Iowa)
So., WR, Sioux City, Iowa

• Returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the then-No. 2 Mustangs’ 80-10 win at Great Plains Athletic Conference rival Midland (Neb.).
• The punt return was from 67 yards, and is his second of the season.
• Had 11 punt returns in the game for 214 yards (19.5 yards per return).
• The kickoff return was a 90-yard run.
• Recorded five catches for 114 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
• Ranks second in the NAIA in total receiving yards (1,113) and third in receiving yards per game (111.3).
• First career National Special Teams Player of the Week award.

National Offensive Player of the Week
Jacob Russell, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Sr., QB, Lawrenceburg, Ky.

• Led the Tigers to a program single-game record 70 points in last Saturday’s upset win against then-No. 7 Reinhardt (Ga.), 70-56.
• Finished the game with a career-high and record-setting seven passing touchdowns, and also ran for another.
• Ended the game with 472 total yards, including 446 yards through the air.
• Completed 29-of-49 passes (59.2 percent).
• Leads the NAIA in passing yards per game (352.7), total passing (3,527), total offense per game (395.4) and total offense (3,954).
• Second-straight National Offensive Player of the Week honor and third of his career.

For a complete list of all the national statistical leaders, click here.

For the complete NAIA Player of the Week calendar, click here.

Offensive Nominees: Phillipi Sparks, Arizona Christian; Alyn Jackson, Avila (Mo.); Jakhari Gore, Marian (Ind.); Simon Mckee, Tabor (Kan.); Raheem Gardner, Robert Morris (Ill.); Trent Solsma, Morningside (Iowa); Clay Cavender, Montana Tech; Darius Page, Webber International (Fla.); Tray Boone, Dickinson State (N.D.).

Defensive Nominees: Adam Sauder, Taylor (Ind.); Joey Williams, Edward Waters (Fla.); Reno Ward, Montana Western; Alden Mann, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Brady Mudder, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Jessup Bliven, Southwestern (Kan.); Trey Winberg, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Nick Bush, Grand View (Iowa); Will Tillo, Southeastern (Fla.); Jarelle Miller, Jamestown (N.D.).

Special Teams Nominees: Jeremiah Rideaux, Avila (Mo.); Dovi Gamble, Taylor (Ind.); David Campbell, Edward Waters (Fla.); David Campbell, Edward Waters (Fla.); Seth Mason, Montana Western; Will Ward, Campbellsville (Ky.); Dalton Homan, Lyon (Ark.); Mario Esparza, Southwestern (Kan.); Matt Cotiguala, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Nathan Milos, Jamestown (N.D.).

2015 NAIA Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Week 1 (Sept. 14)
Offense: Nick Ferrer, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Defense: Caleb Taylor, Faulkner (Ala.)
Special Teams: Daniel Martinez, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Week 2 (Sept. 21)
Offense: Tray Boone, Dickinson State (N.D.)
Defense: Dontaye Johnson, Robert Morris (Ill.)
Special Teams: DeMario Fair, Valley City State (N.D.)
Week 3 (Sept. 28)
Offense: Patrick Smith, St. Ambrose (Iowa)
Defense: Josh Woodard, St. Francis (Ill.)
Special Teams: Matt Cotiguala, St. Ambrose (Iowa)
Week 4 (Oct. 5)
Offense: Jacob Russell, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Defense: Spencer Cowherd, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Special Teams: Wendall Williams, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Week 5 (Oct. 12)
Offense: Ryan Thompson, Reinhardt (Ga.)
Defense: Nick Holshoe, Concordia (Mich.)
Special Teams: Chadd Dearen, SAGU (Texas)
Week 6 (Oct. 19)
Offense: Ryan Kasdorf, Morningside (Iowa)
Defense: Ben Kullos, Dakota State (S.D.)
Special Teams: Abdul Mahdi, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 7 (Oct. 26)
Offense: Nolan Saraceni, Montana Tech
Defense: Brady Bonte, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
Special Teams: Stephen Simms, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 8 (Nov. 2)
Offense: Jacob Russell, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Defense: Eric Sadowski, Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)
Special Teams: Will Ward, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Week 9 (Nov. 9)
Offense: Jacob Russell, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Defense: Josh Harris, Georgetown (Ky.)
Special Teams: Connor Niles, Morningside (Iowa)