Taylor Earns National and MEAC Weekly Honor
GREENSBORO (October 2, 2017) – The latest round of player of the week accolades going to North Carolina A&T football players was released on Monday with three different Aggies earning recognition after a 21-7 win over South Carolina State last Saturday at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.
Safety/linebacker Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 190, R-SR, Kinston, NC) was recognized twice on Monday. He earned defensive player of the week from the MEAC and defensive player of the week honorable mention from STATS FCS. Quarterback Lamar Raynard (6-4, 200, R-JR, High Point, NC) picked another offensive player of the week nod from the MEAC, his third of the season. Kicker Noel Ruiz (6-0, 165, FR, Wilson, NC) rounded out conference awards for N.C. A&T by being named rookie of the week.
N.C. A&T made minor improvements in the two national Football Championship Subdivision polls, moving from No. 13 to No. 12 in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll, and they went from No. 17 to No. 16 in the STATS FCS Media Poll. The Aggies (5-0, 2-0 MEAC) are one of nine undefeated teams in FCS play.
“We’re extremely happy to be 5-0,” said N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway. “We’re showing signs that we are developing into a good football team. With the success we have had over the last few years, our guys know how to win. The Lesson we’re teaching now is how to handle winning. A part of handling winning is putting the past behind you and focusing in on what’s ahead of you.”
Taylor has played a major part in all the winning. Taylor led the Aggies in tackles last season and holds the team lead in tackles this season. He did major damage to SCSU’s offense last Saturday. He played a part in forcing all three of the Bulldogs’ turnovers with two forced fumbles and an interception. Taylor earned co-defensive player of the week honors three weeks ago after posting 10 tackles, forcing and recovering and fumble and interception one pass. He was named national defensive player of the week by STATS FCS last season after spearheading the Aggies upset of Kent State.
Raynard continues to march toward one of the best seasons by an Aggies quarterback in school history. For the second time this season, he had a passing performance that ranked among the top-10 performances of all time in school history. Against the Bulldogs, he threw for 298 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 18-for-31 passing. It was the ninth-best passing performance in school history, one step behind his 321-yard performance against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 2 which ranks as the eighth-best. Raynard threw a career-long 71-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Griffin versus SCSU. It was his 14th touchdown pass of the season.
Nationally, Raynard is second in yards per attempt (10.4) and passing TD’s. He is sixth in points responsible for (92), ninth in passing per completion (15.22), 11th in completion percentage (.683), 12th in passing yards (1,309) and 15th in total offense (283.2).
Ruiz found his rhythm as the Aggies kicker last Saturday. After missing the first two field goals of his career, Ruiz bounced back and went 3-for-3 at SCSU. His three crucial kicks were from 36, 41 and 27 yards. His 36-yarder were the first points of the game as the Aggies took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. He later booted a 41-yarder toward in the of the first half to give the Aggies a 12-0 halftime lead. His final field goal gave the Aggies a two-touchdown lead with only four minutes remaining in the game. The Aggies have now claimed the rookie of the week award three straight weeks after Mac McCain won the honor twice over the previous two weeks.
This week the Aggies host the Greatest Homecoming On Earth as Delaware State will come to town for a 1 p.m., kickoff at Aggie Stadium.
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