2020-21 Football Players of the Week

2020-21 Football Players of the Week

Players of the week are evaluated on their performance during the week prior to the announcement. Each player is selected out of a pool of conference and Association of Independent Institution's award winners.

Quick Find: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11| Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Weel 17 | Week 18

Week 6 (October 26, 2020)


Offensive Player of the Week: Malik Nesbitt, Avila (Mo.)

Nesbitt set career-bests marks Saturday. The junior running back only one game of 100-plus yards in his career prior to this season and now has had three straight games with triple digits in rushing yards.

Offensive Nominees: Blayne Rowe, SAGU (Texas) ; Noah Clayberg, Dordt (Iowa) ; Blake Atkins, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) ; Josh Portillo, Mayville State (N.D.) ; Wendell Harris Jr., Southeastern (Fla.)

Defensive Player of the Week: Brett Shepardson, Benedictine (Kan.)

Shepardson continues to lead the NAIA in total sacks now with 10. He also leads the Heart in sacks per game at 1.7 while ranking second in the conference with 11.5 tackles for a loss.

Defensive Nominees: Robert Robinson, Briar Cliff (Iowa) ; Keandre Belcher, SAGU (Texas) ; Parker Folks, Tabor (Kan.) ; Javonte Oliphant, Dickinson State (N.D.) ; Jalen Wring, Keiser (Fla.)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Kieran Woodley of SAGU (Texas)

The junior went 4-4 on field goal attempts with the longest being 44 yards in win over Texas Wesleyan.

Special Teams Nominees: Freddy Botello, Southwestern (Kan.) ; Jared Quinonez, Midland (Neb.) ; Logan Robinson, Keiser (Fla.) ; Max Cooper, Mayville State (N.D.)

Week 5 (October 19, 2020)

Offensive Player of the Week: Brad Cagle, Southwestern (Kan.)

Senior quarterback, Brad Cagle was lights out in the team's 42-21 win over  Kansas Wesleyan, finishing 17-23 through the air with zero turnovers and three passing touchdowns.

Offensive Nominees: Shane Solberg, Northwestern (Iowa) ; Tyler Duncan, Arizona Christian ; Rives Grogan, William Penn (Iowa) ; Jalen Pfeifer, Valley City State (N.D.)


Defensive Player of the Week: Colby Johnson, Ottawa (Kan.)

Johnson finished with 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble in Braves victory over McPherson College.

Defensive Nominees: Deonsaye Dean, Arizona Christian ; Zach Acamo, Midland (Neb.) ; Jahidi West, Valley City State (N.D.) ; Brett Shepardson, Benedictine (Kan.)


Special Teams Player of the Week: Nestor Higuera, Arizona Christian

Higuer kicked perfect on Saturday night 1-1 field goal and 4-4 on extra points. Including a 35 yard field goal in overtime.

Special Team Nominees: Dalton Tremayne, Midland (Neb.) ; Joe Cannon, Tabor (Kan.) ; Jeremiah Paine, Dickinson State (N.D.) ; Samuel Petrin, Central Methodist (Mo.)

Week 4 (October 12, 2020)

Offensive Player of the Week: Marques Burgess, Keiser (Fla.)

Junior RB, Marques Burgess put together a career performance in the win over  Southeastern (Fla.) on Saturday night.

Offensive Nominees: Noah Clayberg, Dordt (Iowa) ; Isaiah Randalle, Kansas Wesleyan ; Jalen Pfeifer, Valley City State (N.D.) ; Sam Buckner, Evangel (Mo.) ; Tyler Duncan, Arizona Christian

Defensive Player of the Week: Dawson Mcglothlin, Dickinson State (N.D.)

Mcglothlin and rest of Dickinson State defense lead the way Saturday to advance the team to 5-0

Defensive Nominees: Caleb Helsley, Southwestern (Kan.) ; Zach Acamo, Midland (Neb.) ; Jalen Wring, Keiser (Fla.) ; Anthony Nicastro, Arizona Christian ; Travis Reed, Peru State (Neb.)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Caleb Walls, Keiser (Fla.)

Walls provided a key spark for the Seahawks in their road win over Southeastern (Fla.) on Saturday with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Special Teams Nominees: Slater Gifford, Waldorf (Iowa) ; Dalton Tremayne, Midland (Neb.) ; Bobby Schmidt, Friends (Kan.) ; Nathan Hamilton, Grand View (Iowa)

Week 3 (October 5, 2020)

Offensive Player of the Week: Tyson Kooima, Northwestern (Iowa)

Kooima threw for a career-best five touchdowns in leading Northwestern to a 48-40 win over Dordt last weekend. Kooima completed 17-of-27 pass attempts for 290 yards.

Offensive Nominees: Bry'yon Jones, St. Thomas (Fla.) ; Zach Esau, Bethel (Kan.) ; Johnny Sullivan, Grand View (Iowa) ; Drew Boedecker, Dickinson State (N.D.)

Defensive Player of the Week: Josh Seabolt, Bethel (Kan.)

Josh Seabolt logged 15 tackles (nine solo), with six of these being for a loss of 28 total yards during the Threshers' 83-35 victory Saturday.

Defensive Nominees: Thomas Edwards, Waldorf (Iowa) ; Khalid Scott, Southeastern (Fla.) ; Chase Hammons, Concordia (Neb.) ; Carlos Thomas, Peru State (Neb.)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Melvin Reid of McPherson (Kan.)

For the 3rd time in four games, Melvin Reid has returned the punt for a touchdown.

Special Teams Nominees: Kobe Panier, St. Thomas (Fla.) ; Dalton Tremayne, Midland (Neb.) ; Slater Gifford, Waldorf (Iowa) ; Devin Derousse, Baker (Kan.)

Week 2 (September 28, 2020)

Offensive Player of the Week: Jamaine Derogene, Doane (Neb.)

Derogene had his first career 100-yard rushing game as he raced to 149 yards on 11 carries (13.5 yds/carry) and scored three touchdowns

Offensive Nominees: Cody Braden, Webber International (Fla.) ; Keegan Martin, Bethel (Kan.) ; Drew Boedecker, Dickinson State (N.D.) ; Caleb Tanis, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)


Defensive Player of the Week: Nikolas Furlow, Avila (Mo.)

Linebacker Nikolas Furlow scored his first career touchdown Saturday with a 93-yard run. Furlow has added 10 tackles, including six solo for the Eagles.

Defensive Nominees: Riley Heithoff, Doane (Neb.) ; Joseph Burton, Webber International (Fla.) ; Nick Miller, Dickinson State (N.D.) ; Keon Boulware, Benedictine (Kan.)


Special Teams Player of the Week: Derek McCormick, Ave Maria (Fla.)

McCormick kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired to give Ave Maria a 32-31 win over Warner on Saturday night.

Special Teams Nominees: Tyler Dennis, Waldorf (Iowa) ; Jeremy Henning, Doane (Neb.) ; Dallis Flowers, Grand View (Iowa) ; Melvin Reid, McPherson (Kan.)

Week 1 (September 21, 2020)


Offensive Player of the Week: Jonah Weyand, Concordia (Neb.)

The redshirt sophomore from Crete, Neb., Jonah Weyand rushed for 177 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries in Concordia's 34-28 overtime win over Hastings.

Offensive Nominees: Korbin Marcum, Culver-Stockton (Mo.) ; Isaiah Randalle, Kansas Wesleyan ; Seth Barbarino, Oklahoma Panhandle State ; Jaret Lee, Dickinson State (N.D.) ; Eugene Witherspoon, Southeastern (Fla.)


Defensive Player of the Week: Noah Guse, Dakota State (S.D.)

Noah Guse returned two 'Pick Six' interceptions for touchdowns to help Dakota State (S.D.) earn their first shut out since 2004.

Defensive Nominees: Drew Bessey, Morningside (Iowa) ; Joshua Stullivan, Oklahoma Panhandle State ; Victor Alvarez Jr., Keiser (Fla.) ; Mar'Quess Daniels, Central Methodist (Mo.) ; Jason Weah, Friends (Kan.)


Special Teams Player of the Week: Caleb Nielsen, Dakota State (S.D.)


Caleb Nielsen went 6-6 on PAT extra-point kicks in Saturday's win over Presentation (S.D.)

Special Teams Nominees: Mason Krause, Doane (Neb.) ; Aaron Main, Kansas Wesleyan ; Jonah Paulsgrove, Southeastern (Fla.) ; Matt Heinrich, Benedictine (Kan.)



Players of the Week full calendar

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship


April 17, 24, May 1, 2021
Football Championship Series
Campus Sites

May 10, 2021
Eddie G. Robinson Stadium
Grambling, La.