Appalachian State University wide receiver Sean Price (Reston, Va./South Lakes) and defensive back Troy Sanders (Chester, S.C./Chester) raked in a plethora of awards on Monday for their performances in Saturday’s 31-28 victory at
top-ranked Georgia Southern. Price was named the National Freshman of the Week by The Sports Network and the Southern Conference’s Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week while Sanders was tabbed as the SoCon’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Price’s accolades come on the heels of him catching seven passes for a career-high 231 yards in the win at GSU. The 231 receiving yards were:
• an Appalachian State freshman record;
• good for a tie for fourth overall in Appalachian State history;
• the second-highest receiving output in the Southern Conference this season;
• the 13th-highest receiving output in NCAA Division I FCS this season;
• the most by an FCS freshman this season (surpassing the 142 yards he compiled the previous week at Western Carolina);
• a Paulson Stadium record;
• the most ever surrendered by Georgia Southern.
Despite playing just eight games this season, the Jerry Rice Award candidate (FCS Freshman of the Year) owns seven Appalachian State freshman records with 58 receptions, 914 receiving yards, eight touchdown catches, five 100-yard receiving games, three-straight 100-yard receiving games and single-game marks of 10 receptions and 231 receiving yards. He leads all FCS freshman in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches and ranks among the top 11 nationally overall in all three categories.
The national records for receptions and receiving yards are also in reach for Price, who is just 13 catches and 159 yards short of the NCAA Division I FCS freshman records of 71 receptions (set by Cal St. Northridge’s Drew Amerson in 1999) and 1,073 receiving yards (set by Marshall’s Randy Moss in 1996).
Price is only the second player in the last 21 years to collect two of the SoCon’s weekly awards simultaneously. Former Appalachian quarterback DeAndre Presley, who was named the conference’s Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week on Nov. 24, 2008, is the only other SoCon player to receive two weekly honors since Mountaineer running back Chip Hooks accomplished the feat in 1991. In all, only eight players have won a pair of SoCon accolades in the same week since the league first recognized a Freshman of the Week in 1988.
The SoCon Freshman of the Week award is Price’s second of the year while the national honor and the SoCon Offensive Player of the Week recognition were his first.
Defensively, Sanders capped a terrific day by making a victory-clinching interception at the Mountaineers’ 21 yard line with 53 seconds remaining in the heart-stopping triumph at Georgia Southern.
In addition to recording Appalachian’s biggest takeaway of the season, Sanders also tallied a game-high-tying 10 tackles, including a game-best two for loss. Six of his 10 tackles came on Georgia Southern’s final five possessions, during which the Mountaineers’ limited the Eagles to just three first downs and no points.
The SoCon Defensive Player of the Week award is the first of the senior’s career.
Appalachian State, which moved to No. 12 in this week’s FCS polls after the victory at GSU, can clinch its seventh Southern Conference championship in eight years with a win over Furman (3-6, 2-4 SoCon) on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. A very limited number of tickets for the Black Saturday showdown remain and can be purchased online at GoASU.com, by phone at (828) 262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located in the Holmes Center.
Photo Courtesy: Sean Price, ASU Athletics