ROCK HILL, S.C. - The South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week have been announced for the week ending Sep. 13, 2008. Newberry College linebacker Will Newell was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Week while Tusculum College quarterback Corey Russell was named the SAC Offensive Player of the Week. Tusculum punter John Gregory was named the SAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Newell, a 6-2, 255-pound senior from Irmo, S.C., led the Newberry defense in NC's 41-3 win over North Greenville. It was an emotional night for Newell, as he wore jersey number 46 instead of his usual 45 in honor of his older brother John, who passed away the prior Tuesday. He established a new personal best with 14 solos among his 15 total tackles. He also recorded four tackles for loss totaling 22 yards, including a pair of sacks. Newell had recorded 13 total tackles by halftime, and only played the first series of the second half, in which he recorded his other two tackles.
Newell has earned the Defensive Player of the Week award in both weeks Newberry has played the season, and has now earned four total SAC POTW awards in his illustrious career. He now stands at 271 career total tackles, which is ninth in the Newberry records. He is also eighth in solo tackles at 161.
Russell, a 6-4, 190-pound senior from Speedwell, Tenn., earns this honor for the second time this season. He became Tusculum's all-time leading passer in the Pioneers' 32-30 win over Elizabeth City State. Against the Vikings, he passed for 366 yards and four touchdowns. He went 25-for-44 on the night, while also rushing for a game-high 75 yards on 14 attempts, giving him 441 total offensive yards in the game, which are the fourth most in TC history. He has passed for 6,666 yards in his career, along with 547 completions, both Tusculum records.
Gregory, a 6-2, 210-pound junior from Ooltewah, Tenn., averaged 46.8 yards per punt on his four attempts in Tusculum's win over Elizabeth City State. Gregory pinned the Vikings inside their own five-yard line on three occasions, resulting directly into prime field position that resulted into a touchdown and a safety.
The South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week are selected by a vote of the league's sports information directors.