It's all 'Goods' with FCS players of the week
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - The word's out after the first month of the FCS regular season that many freshmen are making an impact.
Each week, new rookies emerge in key roles, with Campbell running back Montel Goods the latest to steal the spotlight.
On Monday, Goods, Western Illinois' Jaelon Acklin, Montana's Justin Strong and Saint Francis' Andrew Zecca were named the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for Week 5 games through Sept. 30.
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jaelon Acklin, Western Illinois, WR, Sr., 6-2, 190, Mountain View, Missouri
Through the first three quarters against South Dakota, Acklin had a terrific game going with seven receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown, but he was just getting started. In the fourth quarter, he registered 12 catches for 172 yards and two scores, nearly rallying Western Illinois all the way back from a big deficit before it fell 38-33 to South Dakota in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Acklin finished with school records for receptions (19) and receiving yards (343 - also a conference mark) while adding the three touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: P.J. Blazejowski, QB, Furman; Gage Gubrud, QB, Eastern Washington; Hayden Hildebrand, QB, Central Arkansas; Trai Sharp, RB, James Madison; Ronald Smith II, WR, Columbia; Chris Streveler, QB, South Dakota
NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Justin Strong, Montana, S, R-Sr., 5-11, 190, Rialto, California
Strong lived up to his name against Portland State while he played with his left hand in a cast to protect an injured thumb. But that didn't keep him from having a monster game in the Grizzlies' 45-33 Big Sky victory. He intercepted three passes for 116 return yards, highlighted by a 64-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter to put away the win. He also intercepted a two-point conversion and was in on four tackles (three solos).
Honorable Mention: John Haggart, DE, Stony Brook; Da'Jon Lee, OLB, Saint Francis; L.B. Mack, DE, Rhode Island; Teddie Martinez, S, Monmouth; Brett Taylor, LB, Western Illinois; Jeremy Taylor, LB, North Carolina A&T; David Thomas, DB, Wagner; Isiah Thomas, DB, Alcorn State; Nick Wheeler, DE, Colgate; Jaison Williams, DE, Austin Peay
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Andrew Zecca, Saint Francis, P, Jr., 6-2, 190, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Saint Francis played a battle of field position and defense in its 13-7 win at nationally ranked Liberty. Zecca booted 12 punts, averaging 40 yards with a long of 62, with five catches and only two returns for two yards. He dropped three punts inside the Liberty 10, and two more were downed within the 20. The win was the defending Northeast Conference co-champion's second-ever against a Top 25 team.
Honorable Mention: Lane Clark, PK, Tennessee State; Isaac Ellsworth, RB/KR, Georgetown; Deion Holliman, WR/KR, Missouri State; Jeffrey Kordenbrock, PK, Lafayette; Elijah Marks, WR/RS, Northern Arizona; Darrius Montgomery, DL, Incarnate Word
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Montel Goods, Campbell, RB, R-Fr., 5-10, 215, Pittsboro, North Carolina.
Considering how well Goods' first career start went, he will be getting more. Goods carried the ball 27 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns as Campbell posted a 38-0 victory over Morehead State, which was coming off an impressive Pioneer Football League win over Dayton. The second-best rushing performance in the PFL this season included two 3-yard TDs and a 2-yard score.
Honorable Mention: Darius Daies, RB, Brown; Nate Evans, RB, William & Mary; Scott Gilkey, QB, Eastern Illinois; Kaelan Riley, QB, Mercer; Cody Roscoe, DL, McNeese; Terrance Wilson, RB, Charleston Southern; Erik Zokouri, RB, Monmouth
Updated October 2, 2017