SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference named its football players of the week Monday for all games played Nov. 3. Furman kicker Grayson Atkins earned his third straight SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week award, while Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges was named the Offensive Player of the Week and ETSU’s Artevius Smith was named the Defensive Player of the Week. The players of the week are selected by the league office.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Sr., QB, Kimberly, Ala.
Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges accounted for five touchdowns and 417 yards of total offense in the Bulldogs’ 35-20 win over No. 8 Wofford on Saturday, helping keep Samford’s quest for a SoCon title alive. The redshirt senior and member of the Walter Payton Award watch list was 29-for-41 through the air for 399 yards, just missing what would have been his league-record fourth consecutive 400-yard passing game, and threw for four scores, including a 73-yard strike just 49 seconds into the game. He also ran for 18 yards and a touchdown as Samford topped Wofford for the fourth straight season. Hodges’ career total offense yardage now stands at 14,720, just 33 back of Armanti Edwards’ SoCon record and good for a tie for third in FCS history. He moved up three spots on the FCS career passing yardage list, and with 13,776 to his credit, now trails only record-holder Steve McNair, who posted 14,496 for Alcorn State from 1991-94. Hodges also became the SoCon’s career leader in passing TDs with 109, moving three clear of Elon’s Scott Riddle.
Other nominees: Brandon Rainey (The Citadel), Quay Holmes (ETSU), Bryce Nunnelly (Chattanooga), Alex Ramsey (VMI) and Donnavan Spencer (Western Carolina).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Artevius Smith, ETSU, R-Jr., DB, Birmingham, Ala.
ETSU defensive back Artevius Smith had a career day in a 21-18 win at Mercer on Saturday, which clinched the Bucs at least a share of their first-ever SoCon title. Smith had a career-best six tackles, including half a tackle for a 1-yard loss, and notched a pair of interceptions, the first of his career. Smith’s first interception came late in the second quarter with the Bears leading 10-7, as he corralled a deflected pass on the first place of a Mercer drive deep in its own territory. Eight plays later, the Bucs cashed in with a touchdown. Smith’s second pick of the day came with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter and again led to an ETSU score. After the Bucs had a potential 50-yard scoring run negated by a fumble at the 5-yard line that resulted in a touchback, Smith snagged a Mercer pass of the ensuing drive and returned it 26 yards to swing momentum back in the Bucs’ favor. ETSU would need just four plays to reach the end zone and take a lead it would not relinquish.
Other nominees: Mason Kinsey (The Citadel), Adrian Hope (Furman), Ahmad Gooden (Samford), Isaiah Mack (Chattanooga), Brett Howell (VMI), Mitchell Chancey (Western Carolina) and JoJo Tillery (Wofford).
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Grayson Atkins, Furman, So., K, Inman, S.C.
Furman kicker Grayson Atkins earned his third consecutive weekly honor after another solid all-around week. The sophomore booted three field goals in the Paladins’ 16-10 win over Chattanooga on Saturday, connecting from 50, 48 and 28 yards to extend his consecutive made field goals streak to 10, two shy of the Furman record. Four of the makes in that streak have come from 50 yards or more. Atkins, who added an extra point on the day to personally match Chattanooga’s scoring output with 10 points, also handled punting and kickoff duties, averaging 43.0 yards on two punts, with a long of 51, and 58.8 yards on four kickoffs, notching three touchbacks and a fair catch at the UTC 1-yard line. Atkins is the first specialist to earn three straight weekly honors from the SoCon since Samford kicker Anthony Pistelli did so in the final three weeks of the 2015 season. He is the first player overall to take three straight since Samford’s Devlin Hodges did so from Oct. 3-17, 2016.
Other nominees: Matthew Campbell (The Citadel), Marion Watson (ETSU), Matt Shiel (Mercer) and Victor Ulmo (Chattanooga).
2018 SoCon Football Players of the Week
Sept. 3 Bryce Nunnelly, So., WR, Chattanooga
Sept. 10 Bryce Nunnelly, So., WR, Chattanooga
Sept. 17 Robert Riddle, R-Fr., QB, Mercer
Sept. 24 Reece Udinski, So., QB, VMI
Oct. 1 Tyrie Adams, R-Jr., QB, Western Carolina
Oct. 8 Devlin Hodges, R-Sr., QB, Samford
Oct. 15 Harris Roberts, R-Sr., QB, Furman
Oct. 22 Tyrie Adams, R-Jr., QB, Western Carolina
Oct. 29 Tyrie Adams, R-Jr., QB, Western Carolina
Nov. 5 Devlin Hodges, R-Sr., QB, Samford
Sept. 3 Noah Dawkins, Sr., LB, The Citadel
Sept. 10 Aaron Harris, Sr., LB, Samford
Sept. 17 Jared Folks, R-Sr., LB, ETSU
Sept. 24 Marshall Cooper, Jr., LB, Chattanooga
Oct. 1 Nasir Player, R-Jr., DL, ETSU
Oct. 8 Tre’Shun Floyd, So., LB, Samford
Oct. 15 Tyree Robinson, So., DB, ETSU
Oct. 22 Ahmad Gooden, Sr., DL, Samford
Oct. 29 Donavan Perryman, Jr., LB, Furman
Nov. 5 Artevius Smith, R-Jr., DB, ETSU
Sept. 3 Mitchell Fineran, Fr., PK, Samford
Sept. 10 Mitchell Fineran, Fr., PK, Samford
Sept. 17 Cole Fisher, Sr., PK, Mercer
Sept. 24 Rod Johnson, RB/KR, Jr., The Citadel
Oct. 1 Dejuan Bell, WR/RS, Fr., Furman
Oct. 8 Mitchell Fineran, Fr., PK, Samford
Oct. 15 JJ Jerman, Sr., PK, ETSU
Oct. 22 Grayson Atkins, So., K, Furman
Oct. 29 Grayson Atkins, So., K, Furman
Nov. 5 Grayson Atkins, So., K, Furman