JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman linebacker Jaycob Coleman (Norton, Va.) and kicker/punter Curt Duncan (Morristown, Tenn.) have been named the South Atlantic Conference's defensive and special teams player of the week, respectively.
The honor is Duncan's fifth after winning special teams player of the week four times last year. Coleman grabs the award for the first time in his career. He's Carson-Newman's first defensive special teams player of the week since Zeke Andrews won the award in October of 2011 for a nine tackle, two sack, four tackle for loss performance in a 27-24 win over Brevard.
That game is also the last time Carson-Newman won two of the three player of the week awards from the league office. Carlos Lopez garnered special teams player of the week honors against the Tornados.
Coleman finished with a team-high and career-best 12 tackles in Carson-Newman's 27-24 win at Colorado School of Mines on Saturday. The senior linebacker's efforts were vital helping the Eagles slow down a Mines offense that had scored 72 points and piled up 727 yards of total offense the week prior. Coleman also intercepted a pass that he returned inside the Mines' 10-yard line after the Orediggers had nearly cracked midfield.
"It really just shows the depth of the defense as a unit," Coleman said. "We were able to get pressure on the quarterback and that played into a lot of my tackles, as well as the pick."
Coleman's 17 tackles currently rank sixth in the conference this season, and his 10 solo stops rank fourth.
Duncan accounted for nine Carson-Newman points on Saturday at Mines, connecting on 2-of-3 field goals and making all three extra points. Duncan's field goals came from 26 and 38 yards out, while his only miss was a 56-yard attempt that hit the right upright and would have gone down as a school record had it sailed through.
"I just thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity," Duncan said. "I really wanted to work on punting this offseason. I wanted it to be a working point in addition to field goals and kickoffs. It's such a fight to keep guys like Charlie Rhea and my cousin Ben Ogle at bay."
The senior also punted for the Eagles, averaging 49 yards on three kicks, including one inside the 20. He leads all SAC kickers this season with 16 points. His 49 yard average on punts is second only to current Cowboys' punter Chris Jones for the single game average yards a punt mark in school history. Jones' record is 49.5 yards a punt.
On top of that, none of Duncan's punts were returned and only one of his kickoffs was brought back. The others all went for touchbacks.
Carson-Newman opens up conference play Saturday against Brevard. The Tornados are coming off a 69-0 win over the College of Faith. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Coverage begins on the Eagle Sports Network at noon with the Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), 106.3 ESPN Radio the Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.