NAIA Football Players of the Week - No. 6

NAIA Football Players of the Week - No. 6

By Nikki Sherrill, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Jalen Sykes of Bethel (Kan.) has been named the National Offensive Player of the Week, Wayland Baptist’s (Texas) Travis White is this week’s Defensive Player of the Week and Hunter Behm of William Penn (Iowa) was selected as the Special Teams Player of the Week, the national office announced Monday. These athletes were chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 10-16, and were selected out of a pool of conference award winners.

National Offensive Player of the Week
Jalen Sykes, Bethel (Kan.)
Sr., RB, Bakersfield, Calif. 

  • In an offensive shootout against (RV) Sterling (Kan.), Sykes ran the ball 41 times, which was the highest single game rushing total this season, for 330 yards. 
  • Found his way to the end zone on five different occasions, the most in one game during his career.
  • Leads the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) in rushing yardage with 904 this season.
  • Ranks No. 1 nationally in rushing yards per game (150.7), No. 4 in total rushing (904) and No. 7 in all-purpose yards per game (157.7).
  • This is the first National Player of the Week honor for Sykes.


National Special Teams Player of the Week
Hunter Behm, William Penn (Iowa)
Fr., K, West Haven, Utah

  • In a 13-9 win over then-No. 22 Peru State (Neb.), Behm hit two field goals to help William Penn take the victory. The first measured at 47 yards, while the second came in at 51 yards.
  • Both field goals from the contest rank in the top 10 list for longest in school history.
  • The freshman ranks No. 1 in the NAIA in PAT kicking percentage (1.0) and No. 50 in field goal percentage (.500).
  • This is Behm’s first National Player of the Week honor.

National Defensive Player of the Week
Travis White, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Jr., DB, Krum, Texas

  • Intercepted a school-record three passes in a 24-14 win over SAGU (Texas). This helped improve White’s count to five in two weeks and seven on the season.
  • Recorded one solo tackle to go along with two assisted tackles and a pass break up.
  • One of his interceptions came in the end zone to prevent a late-game touchdown.
  • Led a defense that shut-out SAGU in the second half after trailing 14-0 to start the game.
  • Ranks No. 1 nationally in interceptions per game (1.2), No. 2 in total interceptions (7) and No. 6 in passes defended per game (1.8).  
  • This is White’s first Player of the Week honor.

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

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

Offensive Nominees: Nate Meier, Doane (Neb.); Kerry Sellers, II, Bethel (Tenn.); Korey Rogers, Robert Morris (Ill.); Lucas Johnston, Marian (Ind.); Jj Jude, Georgetown (Ky.); Kievon Jackson, Langston (Okla.); Kievon Jackson, Langston (Okla.); Jarrell Reynolds, Southeastern (Fla.); Jake Peterson, Valley City State (N.D.); Kenny Sanford, Missouri Valley; Matt Retzlaff, Southern Oregon

Defensive Nominees: Caleb Coe, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Jeremy Beaulieu, Bethel (Tenn.); Britton Barrier, Morningside (Iowa); Maleek Ross, Missouri Baptist; Travis Steenson, McPherson (Kan.); David Green, Southeastern (Fla.); Steven Koch, Dickinson State (N.D.); Romon Morris, Pikeville (Ky.); Stephen Thayer, Missouri Valley; John Payne, Eastern Oregon

Special Teams Nominees: Brandon Haan, Taylor (Ind.); Andres Burgoin, Doane (Neb.); Quincy Walden, Bethel (Tenn.); Grayson Barnette, St. Francis (Ill.); Josh Depp, Georgetown (Ky.); Derrick Holt, Montana Tech; Juan Carpio, Langston (Okla.); Michael Wheary, Southeastern (Fla.); Michael Winstead, Sterling (Kan. ; Dylan Paulson, Presentation (S.D.)

2016 NAIA Football Players of the Week
Week 1 (Sept. 12)
Offense: Jacob Giles, Dakota State (S.D.)
Defense: Jeff Branch, Presentation (S.D.)
Special Teams: Andres Burgoin, Doane (Neb.)
Week 2 (Sept. 19)
Offense: Cedrick Phillips, Sterling (Kan.)
Defense: Nate Moore, College of Idaho
Special Teams: Nick Giaffoglione, Hastings (Neb.)
Week 3 (Sept. 26)
Offense: Matt Gunterman, Culver-Stockton (Mo.)
Defense: Alden Mann, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Special Teams: Zach Bunney, Montana Tech
Week 4 (Oct. 3)
Offense: Jake Bridges, Missouri Valley
Defense: Osvaldo Espericueta, Lyon (Ark.)
Special Teams: Isaiah Ross, Saint Mary (Kan.)
Week 5 (Oct. 10)
Offense: Dillon Turner, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
Defense: Luke Grooters, Morningside (Iowa)
Special Teams: Kyle Wokutch, Ottawa (Kan.)
Week 6 (Oct. 17)
Offense: Jalen Sykes, Bethel (Kan.)
Defense: Travis White, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Special Teams: Hunter Behm, West Haven, Utah

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship

November 23, 30, Dec. 7, 2019
Football Championship Series
Campus Sites

December 21, 2019
Eddie G. Robinson Stadium
Ruston, La.