SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference named its football players of the week today for all games played Sept. 11 and 13. VMI’s Aaron Sanders and Western Carolina’s Daniel Riddle have been named Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. Mercer’s Alex Lakes was selected as the Freshman of the Week, while Chattanooga’s Tommy Hudson was tabbed the Special Teams Player of the Week. The players of the week are selected by the league office.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Aaron Sanders, VMI, So., WR, Stafford, Va.
Sophomore wide receiver Aaron Sanders caught 10 passes for 215 yards as VMI beat Davidson, 52-24, Saturday afternoon. The sophomore wideout averaged 21.5 yards per reception, including a long of 60 yards. Sanders became the first wideout to record more than 200 yards receiving in a game for VMI since Tim Maypray in 2007. His 215 yards is the third-highest single-game total in school history.
Other Nominees: Alex Lakes (Mercer), Robert Clark (Samford), Tommy Hudson (Chattanooga), Troy Mitchell (Western Carolina) and Lorenzo Long (Wofford).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniel Riddle, Western Carolina, Fr., LB, Raleigh, N.C.
Western Carolina’s Daniel Riddle made his first career start Saturday and responded with a game-high 18 tackles in WCU’s 35-17 win over Catawba. Riddle was credited with a sack and three tackles for loss, which resulted in minus-22 yards. The Raleigh, N.C., native also recorded two forced fumbles in the win.
Other Nominees: Lee Bennett (Mercer), Josh Killett (Samford), Cedric Nettles (Chattanooga) and Drake Michaelson (Wofford).
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Alex Lakes, Mercer, Fr., RB, Newnan, Ga.
Alex Lakes carried the ball 13 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns as Mercer posted a 49-0 win at Stetson on Saturday. Lakes added one reception for 14 yards in the win. He averaged 11.6 yards per carry, including a long of 38, before being pulled from the game early in the third quarter. Lakes leads the Southern Conference with 112.3 yards per game on the ground.
Other Nominees: DeAndre Thornton (Furman), Jamie Major (Samford), Tavon Lawson (Chattanooga), Al Cobb (VMI), Detrez Newsome (Western Carolina) and Cole Higbie (Wofford).
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tommy Hudson, Chattanooga, Sr., WR/KR, Moultrie, Ga.
Tommy Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown return in the third quarter as Chattanooga topped Austin Peay, 42-6, Saturday. Hudson became the first Moc to return a punt for a TD since Jordan Hazard returned a kick 88 yards against Furman in 2007. The senior wideout finished with 102 yards receiving and 173 all-purpose yards in the win.
Other Nominees: Greg Peranich (Samford), Chris Copeland (VMI), Destry Barnwell (Western Carolina) and Michael Sarafianos (Wofford).