ROCK HILL, S.C. - The South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week have been announced for the week ending Aug. 30, 2008. Newberry College linebacker Will Newell was named the SAC Defensive Player of the week. Tusculum College quarterback Corey Russell was named the SAC Offensive Player of the Week while TC placekicker Gareth Rowlands was tabbed the Special Teams honoree.
Newell, a 6-2 senior from Irmo, S.C., led Newberry defensively with nine tackles in a hard fought 14-9 loss to top-ranked and defending NCAA Division II champion Valdosta State University. Five of the nine tackles were solo stops to go along with four assists. Those nine stops moved Newell to 256 career tackles, only eight tackles away from 10th all-time in the Newberry record book. The five solo tackles put him at 146 career solos, tied for 10th in Newberry history. This is Newell's third career Player of the Week honor.
Russell, a 6-4, 190-pound senior from Speedwell, Tenn., accounted for four touchdowns (3 pass, 1 rush) in Tusculum's 40-0 win over the University of Charleston. Russell went 22-for-31 for 251 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a seven-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Russell has eclipsed the 6,000 passing yards plateau, becoming the second player in school history and the 10th in SAC history to achieve that feat. Russell's 6,041 career passing yards is second in school history, 266 yards shy of the all-time TC mark.
Rowlands, a 6-1, 195-pound sophomore from Wales, led the Pioneers in scoring with 10 points in Saturday's season-opening win over Charleston. Rowlands recorded a pair of field goals (25, 32) and went 4-for-5 in his extra point attempts. He also averaged 64.1 yards per kickoff. The 10 kicking points are tied for the fourth most in school history.
South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week are selected by a vote of the league's sports information directors.