Gilliam, Reid, Samford Headline FCS Weekly Awards
UC Davis’ Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., Weber State’s Winston Reid, Richmond’s Jake Larson and Nicholls’ Eli Ennis were selected Monday as the FedEx Ground FCS National Players of the Week for Week 11 college football games through Saturday.
In addition, Samford earned FCS National Team of the Week.
The five honorees plus honorable mention selections:
FedEx Ground FCS National Offensive Player of the Week
Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis, RB, R-Sr., 5-9, 183, Merced, California
Gilliam set a career high for carries with 30 while rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns in the Aggies’ 44-26 win at then-No. 15 Idaho in the Big Sky. It was Gilliam’s eighth game this season and the 22nd of his career with at least 100 rushing yards. His final TD was the 50th of his record-setting career. He also caught three passes.
Honorable Mention: Jake Chisholm, RB, Dayton; Quali Conley, RB, Utah Tech; Charlie Dean, QB, Harvard; Tim DeMorat, QB, Fordham; Bailey Fisher, QB, Gardner-Webb; Malik Grant, RB, Sacred Heart; Devron Harper, WR/KR, Mercer; Geno Hess, RB, Southeast Missouri; Michael Hiers, QB, Samford; Tyler Huff, QB, Furman; Kylin James, RB, Central Arkansas; Marqui Johnson, RB, Montana State; Ethan Long, QB, Abilene Christian; Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Youngstown State; Nick Ostmo, RB, Montana; Dante Perri, QB, Lehigh; Xavier Smith, WR, Florida A&M
FedEx Ground FCS National Defensive Player of the Week
Winston Reid, Weber State, LB, Jr., 6-1, 230, West Jordan, Utah
Reid was at his hard-hitting best in forcing three fumbles – one of which led to a touchdown – as Weber State beat Idaho State 45-7 in the Big Sky. Two of the fumbles came off strip sacks that resulted in 15 yards of losses, and one turned bigger when another Wildcats’ player scooped up the football for a 66-yard touchdown return. Reid also posted a team-high seven tackles, including four solos.
Honorable Mention: Jahsun Bryant, LB, Tennessee State; Kavian Gaither, LB, Sam Houston; Braden Gilby, LB, Furman; Erick Hunter, LB, Morgan State; James Kaczor, LB, North Dakota State; Ferrin Manuleleua, LB, Missouri State; Nate Norris, LB, Lehigh; Tanner Pollock, LB, Drake; Walter Reynolds, FS, Holy Cross; Scott Valentas, LB, Columbia; Zeke Vandenburgh, LB, Illinois State; David Walker, DE, Central Arkansas
FedEx Ground FCS National Special Teams Player of the Week
Jake Larson, Richmond, PK, R-Jr., 5-11, 174, Baltimore
Larson’s 39-yard field goal with four seconds remaining provided the winning points of Richmond’s 21-13 victory at Delaware in CAA Football. His kick put the Spiders ahead 15-13 before they scored again off a game-ending fumble. Larson was 3 of 3 on field goal attempts, also connecting from 48 and 46 yards, to increase his career total to 40 made. He handled kickoffs as well.
Honorable Mention: Kendall Bohler, DB/ST, Florida A&M; Jack Culbreath, P, VMI; David Gelb, P, Charleston Southern; Blake Glessner, PK, Montana State; Keith Jenkins Jr., KR, Morgan State; Will Lynch, P, LIU; Matt Noll, P, Delaware State; Matt Schearer, PK, Bucknell
FedEx Ground FCS National Freshman Player of the Week
Eli Ennis, Nicholls, OLB, Fr., 6-2, 205, Ohatchee, Alabama
Ennis helped Nicholls pitch a shutout over the final three quarters of a 12-10 win against Texas A&M-Commerce in the Southland. With the game tied in the fourth quarter, he pressured the Lions quarterback out of the back of the end zone for a decisive safety. Considered a sack, it was Ennis’ biggest play, but he also finished with eight tackles, including four solos, four QB hurries and a pass breakup.
Honorable Mention: Riley Callaghan, PK, Southeastern Louisiana; Rex Connors, DB, UC Davis; Josh Cuevas, TE, Cal Poly; Cameron Dyson, LB, Howard; Shane Hamm, QB, Dayton; Censere Lee, WR, Western Carolina; Gevani McCoy, QB, Idaho; Fred Perry, S, Jacksonville State; Sam Phillips, WR, Chattanooga; Joshua Pitsenberger, RB, Yale; Noah Walters, QB, North Alabama
FedEx Ground FCS National Team of the Week
Samford (35-24 win at Chattanooga)
The Bulldogs clinched a share of their first Southern Conference title since 2013 and later gained an automatic FCS playoff bid due to Furman’s win at Mercer. Quarterback Michael Hiers connected with wide receiver Kendall Watson for three of his four touchdown passes and rushed for a score. Free safety Isaiah Richardson had a team-high nine tackles and a key interception. The Bulldogs have lost only to defending FBS national champion Georgia.
Honorable Mention: Abilene Christian (45-28 win at Sam Houston); Drake (27-24 win over Butler); Richmond (21-13 win at Delaware); UC Davis (44-26 win at Idaho); Yale (24-20 win over Princeton)