The Sun Belt Conference announced today that Middle Tennessee senior safety Eric Russell has been named the league's Defensive Player of the Week. It marks the first honor in Russell’s Blue Raider career.
Blue Raider Safety Eric Russell was honored for his play against Purdue.
Russell made the most of his opportunities defensively with a career game in the season opener at Purdue. He topped all Middle Tennessee tacklers with 13 stops, including 11 solos. He was also credited with his first career sack in the second quarter and added an interception early in the same period to halt a Boilermaker drive. He brought back the turnover 34 yards.
Adding to his versatility, Russell was the main kick and punt returner as well for the Blue Raiders. He finished with three kickoff returns for 85 yards, including a long of 40, to set up MT with solid field possession each time. He then tacked on two punt returns for 14 yards. His 133 all-purpose yards led all players.
The award gives the Blue Raiders 42 player of the week honors under Rick Stockstill with nine on offense, 17 on defense, and 16 on special teams.