Johnson City Press: Sanders, Holmes, Player finalists for national awards
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Sanders, Holmes, Player finalists for national awards

Joe Avento • Nov 19, 2018 at 8:18 PM

 The good news keeps coming for the East Tennessee State football team.

Randy Sanders, Quay Holmes and Nasir Player have been chosen as finalists for national awards.

Sanders, the Bucs’ first-year head coach, is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as FCS coach of the year. Holmes, a red-shirt freshman running back, is up for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the top freshman in FCS, and Player is in the running for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the division’s defensive player of the year.

The awards, given by STATS, will be presented at an awards banquet on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas, site of the FCS national championship game.

Sanders has the Bucs preparing for their first FCS playoffs appearance since 1996. ETSU (8-3) won a share of the Southern Conference championship and will play at Jacksonville State on Saturday night.

Holmes has recorded more than 1,300 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns in 11 games. He’s rushed for 820 yards on 187 carries with 13 touchdowns, while also adding 32 receptions for 242 yards and two more scores. Holmes, the third player in program history to rush for double-digit touchdowns in one season, ranks seventh among FCS players in total touchdowns, ninth in rushing TDs. He is one of 20 finalists for the award.

Player, a defensive end that opposing offenses always keep an eye on, has 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, 11 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles in 10 games. He is one of 25 finalists for the award.

The All-Southern Conference teams will be announced Tuesday and the Bucs are expected to be well represented.

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