MARTIN, Tenn. – It was announced this afternoon that the University of Tennessee at Martin seniors DJ McNeil and Camaren Harris won the Tennessee Sportswriters Association Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week award, respectively.
This marks the fifth time in seven weeks that a Skyhawk football player has won a TSWA award. Overall, four different Skyhawks have been recognized six times in 2013.
The leading rusher in the Ohio Valley Conference (112.5 yards per game), McNeil was up to his old tricks last Thursday in the Skyhawks’ 28-17 victory at Tennessee Tech. The Collierville, Tenn. native rushed for a career-high 168 yards on 24 attempts and a touchdown – his 17th career rushing score.
McNeil, who also added 23 receiving yards in the Tennessee Tech game, averaged 7.0 yards per carry and broke off runs of 32 and 42 yards, the latter coming on the first play from scrimmage after Tennessee Tech cut its deficit to 28-17 in the fourth quarter.
In addition to leading the OVC in rushing, McNeil ranks fourth in the OVC in all-purpose yards (127.5 per game).
A Horne Lake, Miss. native, Harris made plays all over the field for UT Martin in its big road win at Tennessee Tech. He made a career-high nine stops (all solo) while adding his first career interception and three pass breakups.
Harris’ pick came on the first play of a Golden Eagle drive in the fourth quarter when Tennessee Tech had the ball on its own 47-yard line, trailing by 11. Overall, Harris was part of a UT Martin defensive unit that tied or set season-highs in tackles for loss (nine), sacks (five), forced fumbles (three) and interceptions (two).
Harris currently ranks third in the OVC with eight passes defended in six games.
The Skyhawks will be back in action this Saturday, Oct. 19 when they take on in-state OVC rival Tennessee State. Kickoff from Hardy Graham Stadium is set for 1 p.m.