Five Players, Montana Earn FCS National Week 1 Awards
Presbyterian’s Ron Hefley, New Hampshire’s Pop Bush, Fordham’s Ryan Greenhagen, Samford’s Montrell Washington and Hampton’s Elijah Burris were named Monday as the Stats Perform FCS National Players of the Week for both Week 0 and 1 games through Sunday.
In addition, Montana received the National Team of the Week honor.
The honorees plus honorable mention selections:
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ren Hefley, Presbyterian, QB, R-So., 6-0, 197, Bryant, Arkansas
While feasting on an NAIA opponent, the University of Michigan transfer made a national splash in his Presbyterian debut, throwing for an FCS single-game record 10 touchdown passes to lead a 84-43 victory over St. Andrews. Hefley completed 38 of 50 passes for 538 yards, his TD passes covering, in order, 1, 62, 79, 36, 9, 25, 5, 1, 49 and 6 yards.
Honorable Mention: Nic Baker, QB, Southern Illinois; Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington; Julius Chestnut, RB, Sacred Heart; Shaq Davis, WR, South Carolina State; Bailey Fisher, QB, Gardner-Webb; Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M; Dennis Houston, WR, Western Illinois; Cole Johnson, QB, James Madison; Takairee Kenebrew, WR, North Alabama; Jameel McLaughlin, RB, Youngstown State; Hunter Rodrigues, QB, UC Davis; Hamp Simpson, QB, Furman; Matthew Sluka, QB, Holy Cross; Liam Welch, QB, Samford
NATIONAL CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Pop Bush, New Hampshire, S, 6-0, 200, Nocatee, Florida
If there was a spot on the field, Bush covered it in UNH’s 27-21 CAA victory at Stony Brook. He tied his career high with 10 tackles, including eight solos, a 10-yard sack and two others for seven yards in losses; forced two fumbles, including one that set up the Wildcats for a quick touchdown; broke up two passes; and had a 65-yard interception return in the closing minutes to thwart a late Stony Brook drive.
NATIONAL CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Greenhagen, Fordham, LB, Sr., 6-1, 245, Sparta, New Jersey
Greenhagen corralled 31 tackles to set the FCS single-game record – as well as Fordham and Patriot League marks – in a 52-7 loss at Nebraska. He had 14 solo tackles and 17 assists. It was originally thought Greenhagen had 30 tackles to tie three other players for the national record, but on Monday, the two schools changed a tackle that was incorrectly credited to one of his teammates.
Honorable Mention: Liam Anderson, LB, Holy Cross; Travis Blackshear, CB, Furman; Adam Bock, LB, South Dakota State; Tyrell Grayson, DB, Dixie State; Esaias Guthrie, DB, Delaware State; Deandre Lamont, DB, Central Arkansas; Aubrey Miller Jr., LB, Jackson State; Stephen Scott, LB, ETSU; Michael Thomas, DB, Indiana State; Marcus Welnel, LB, Montana
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Montrell Washington, Samford, WR/RS, R-Sr., 5-10, 170, Canton, Georgia
Washington went 62 yards for a touchdown on his first punt return of the season, part of a huge all-around performance in Samford’s 52-14 triumph over Tennessee Tech. His 245 all-purpose yards were the second-most of the FCS week, coming on three punt returns for 69 yards, two kickoff returns for 22 yards, seven receptions for 128 yards and one carry for 26 yards.
Honorable Mention: Brady Buell, P, Houston Baptist; Cole Bunce, PK, Villanova; Grant Burke, P, Missouri State; Brandon Codrington, PR, North Carolina Central; Jake Gerardi, P, Southern Utah; Isaiah Gomez, PK, UC Davis; Max Quick, P, Stephen F. Austin; Rashid Shaheed, KR, Weber State
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Elijah Burris, Hampton, RB, Fr., 5-10, 205, Gastonia, North Carolina
Burris scored three touchdowns and totaled 194 all-purpose yards as Hampton beat Division II Virginia Union 42-28 in its first game since the 2019 season. In the 83th meeting of the series, Burris carried the ball 15 times for 136 yards, had two receptions for seven yards and returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 51 yards, which set up a drive that he capped with a TD to put the Pirates ahead 35-28. He later had a 30-yard score to put the game out of reach.
Honorable Mention: Brian Buschini, P, Montana; Justin Fisher, DE, Bucknell; Ronald Holmes, LB, Delaware State; Drae McCray, WR, Austin Peay; Travis Theis, RB, South Dakota; Jalyn Witcher, WR, Presbyterian
NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK
Montana: 13-7 win at Washington
The Grizzlies (1-0) flexed their muscle against the No. 20 Huskies, posting the first FCS win over a ranked FBS program since 2016 and the sixth all-time. Their defensive stalwarts included Marcus Welnel (game-high 12 tackles, sack, interception), Patrick O’Connell (10 tackles, two sacks) and Gavin Robertson (two interceptions). The win was coach Bobby Hauck’s 99th with the Griz.
Honorable Mention: Austin Peay (30-20 win at Chattanooga); ETSU (23-3 win at Vanderbilt); Holy Cross (38-28 win at UConn); South Dakota State (42-23 win at Colorado State); UC Davis (19-17 win at Tulsa)