NCAA Football

Five claim FCS Week 2 national honors

By CRAIG HALEY

Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor

(Stats Perform) - Tarleton's Cameron Burston, Wofford's Michael Mason, Western Carolina's Paxton Robertson and South Dakota State's Mark Gronowski were named Monday as the Stats Perform FCS National Players of the Week and Tarleton the National Team of the Week for games between Feb. 19-21.

The honorees plus honorable mention selections:

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NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Cameron Burston, Tarleton, QB, Sr., 6-4, 200, Vallejo, California

Named the starter just hours before kickoff, Burston immediately sparked FCS newcomer Tarleton (1-1) to a 43-17 rout of FBS member New Mexico State. Burston scored on a 70-yard QB keeper and connected with Gabe Douglas for an 86-yard touchdown on the Texans' first two offensive plays. He completed 15 of 29 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and had 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Honorable Mention: Joey Baughman, QB, Elon; Gabe Douglas, WR, Tarleton; Quay Holmes, RB, ETSU; Cody Orgeron, QB, McNeese

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NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Michael Mason, Wofford, DE, So., 6-3, 255, Effingham, South Carolina

Mason left his business card in the Mercer backfield while the Terriers posted a 31-14 win in the Southern Conference - their 100th all-time at Gibbs Stadium. He collected eight tackles (seven solos) with three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks that caused fumbles recovered by the Terriers. He also dropped a Mercer ball carrier for a one-yard loss on fourth down from the Wofford 34.

Honorable Mention: Seth Carlise, LB, Tennessee Tech; Cole Coleman, S, Elon; Nelson Jordan, DE, Samford; Devon Krzanowski, LB, North Dakota; Donovan Manuel, LB, ETSU; Korby Sander, S, Northern Iowa

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NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Paxton Robertson, Western Carolina, PK/P, Fr., 6-0, 200, Knoxville, Tennessee

Robertson impressed during his brief fall debut, then provided clutch punting in the Catamounts' 35-7 loss to Furman in the Southern Conference. He averaged 44.4 yards on eight punts, including three that went for 50-plus yards and five inside Furman's 20. He also averaged 63 yards on two kickoffs.

Honorable Mention: Ty King, KR, Samford; Jake Reinholz, PK, North Dakota State

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NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Mark Gronowski, South Dakota State, QB, Fr., 6-3, 200, Naperville, Illinois

The true freshman accounted for three touchdowns, including the game-winning, one-yard pass with 19 seconds remaining, as the Jackrabbits slipped past Northern Iowa 24-20 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference opener between Top 5 nationally ranked teams. He was 19 of 29 for 194 yards, also throwing for a six-yard touchdown and scoring on a five-yard run.

Honorable Mention: Irvin Mulligan, RB, Wofford

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NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK

Tarleton: 43-17 win at New Mexico State

The transitioning Texans' first win as an FCS program occurred in their first-ever matchup against an FBS opponent. Despite missing five starters due to COVID-19 protocols, they dominated with an 501-241 advantage in yards and an 11-minute, 20-second upper hand in time of possession. Burston and Douglas led the way offensively, while the defense intercepted three passes, including Donovan Banks with a pair.

Honorable Mention: North Dakota (44-21 win over Southern Illinois)

Updated February 22, 2021