SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its SoCon Football Players of the Week presented by GEICO on Monday, for games Sept. 7. Furman quarterback Darren Grainger was named the Offensive Player of the Week, VMI defensive back Kaleb Tucker was named the Defensive Player of the Week and Citadel defensive back Sean-Thomas Faulkner was tabbed Special Teams Player of the Week. The players of the week are selected by the league office.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darren Grainger, Furman, R-Fr., QB, Conway, S.C.
Furman quarterback Darren Grainger, making just his third career start, accounted for five touchdowns, going 16-for-24 for 323 yards and four touchdowns through the air and running nine times for 53 yards and another score as the Paladins fell 48-42 at FBS Georgia State on Saturday. The redshirt freshman from Conway, South Carolina, accounted for 376 yards of total offense, the fourth-highest total in school history. With TD passes of 18, 32, 11 and 30 yards and a scoring run of 12 yards, Grainger helped the Paladins match the school record for points against an FBS opponent since reclassifying to NCAA I-AA (now FCS) in 1982.
Other nominees: Jacob Saylors (ETSU), Tucker Cannon (Mercer), Ailym Ford (Chattanooga) and Alex Ramsey (VMI).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kaleb Tucker, VMI, Sr., DB, Hampton, Va.
VMI defensive back Kaleb Tucker had four tackles and a pair of interceptions in the Keydets’ 63-21 win over Mars Hill on Saturday. The senior defensive back from Hampton, Virginia, recorded both interceptions in the first quarter, picking off a pass and returning it 21 yards to set up a score before adding another pick on the next Mars Hill possession that again led to a VMI touchdown as the Keydets built a 21-0 lead. All four of Tucker’s tackles were solo stops, including a sack that went for a loss of 7 yards in the third quarter.
Other nominees: Willie Eubanks III (The Citadel), Nasir Player (ETSU), Marshall Cooper (Chattanooga) and JerMichael White (Western Carolina).
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sean-Thomas Faulkner, The Citadel, R-So., DB, Easley, S.C.
Citadel defensive back Sean-Thomas Faulkner played a huge role on special teams in the Bulldogs’ 35-28 loss at Elon on Saturday. The redshirt sophomore from Easley, South Carolina, blocked a pair of punts in the contest, with The Citadel cashing in for touchdowns on its next possession both times. Faulkner’s first block came late in the first quarter and resulted in the Bulldogs tying the score at 7 early in the second. His second blocked punt came late in the third quarter deep in Elon territory, setting up The Citadel with first-and-goal from the 5-yard line, which the Bulldogs converted to draw to within 21-14. Faulkner also returned a pair of punts for 30 yards and had seven tackles on the day.
Other nominees: Tyler Keltner (ETSU), Colin Brewer (Chattanooga) and Brandon Dickerson (Western Carolina).
2019 SoCon Football Players of the Week presented by GEICO
Sept. 2 Chris Oladokun, Jr., QB, Samford
Sept. 9 Darren Grainger, R-Fr., QB, Furman
Sept. 2 Marshall Cooper, Sr., LB, Chattanooga
Sept. 9 Kaleb Tucker, Sr., DB, VMI
Sept. 2 Grayson Atkins, Jr., K, Furman
Sept. 9 Sean-Thomas Faulkner, R-So., DB, The Citadel