VIDEO: Desmond Fairell Interview
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Carson-Newman defensive back Desmond Fairell (Miami, Fla.) has been lauded as the South Atlantic Conference's AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Fairell wins the award for the first time in his career and gives the Eagles' back-to-back winners. Defensive tackle Montel Presley (Bushnell, Fla.) won the award last week.
Carson-Newman hasn't had players win back-to-back defensive player of the week honors in the last 12 years, as far as records go back on the South Atlantic Conference's website.
Fairell earns the award following a seven-tackle performance in the Eagles' 31-20 win over Limestone that also featured a pair of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Both turnovers that Fairell generated were crucial to preserving Carson-Newman's lead.
He grabbed his second interception of the season and the sixth pick of his career with 2:14 left in the third quarter and the Eagles up one. Fairell ripped in an Ivan Corbin pass at the C-N 10 and returned it deep into Saints territory.
His fumble recovery was arguably the more impressive play and without question sealed the win for the Eagles. Jerko'ya Patton rushed for a first down for the Saints, but Fairell locked him up as he moved to the right sideline and ripped the ball away from him.
From there, Fairell raced down to the Saints' five before Elijah Holbert (Knoxville, Tenn.) booted a field goal to make it a two-score game with less than 90 seconds to play.
Fairell became the third Carson-Newman football player to force a fumble, recover a fumble and pick off a pass in one game in the last decade. He joins teammate Sha'Heem Stupart, who did it against Shorter in 2015, and Nathan Jones, who pulled off the feat against Brevard in 2010.
Fairell and the rest of the Eagles will be in action Saturday at Meares Stadium to take on Mars Hill at 1 p.m. Coverage of the game begins at noon with the AEC Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.