CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet (Riverhead, N.Y.) has been named the Choice Hotels Big South Football Offensive Player of the Week, while Coastal Carolina defensive back Dontavais Johnson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) has been selected as Defensive Player of the Week for games played the opening weekend of the regular-season. Presbyterian kickoff returner Michael Ruff (Whitmire, S.C.) is the Special Teams Player of the Week and Liberty placekicker John Lunsford (Fort Myers, Fla.) is The Crons Brand Freshman of the Week.
Maysonet scored three touchdowns and rushed for 171 yards to lead the nationally-ranked Seawolves to a 49-17 season-opening win over Central Connecticut State. He scored on an 84-yard run in the first quarter -- the second-longest rush from scrimmage in Big South history, and added a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second stanza. Maysonet completed his sixth career 3-touchdown game with a five-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter. He finished the night with 196 all-purpose yards, and his 171 on the ground is the second-most in a season-opener in Big South history.
Johnson had three interceptions and a pass break-up in Coastal Carolina's season-opening win over North Carolina A&T. With no career picks and just three pass break-ups in his first three years at Coastal, Johnson tied the school record for interceptions in a single-game. After Coastal went up 7-0 and the Aggies at midfield, Johnson picked off his first career pass, which eventually led to a CCU score. In the second quarter, Johnson recorded his second interception that led to a Chanticleer field goal and 17-0 advantage. His pass break-up forced a NCA&T field goal, while his final pick came in the fourth quarter on the Aggies' final drive.
Ruff opened the 2012 season with a bang against Brevard, returning the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown -- becoming the first player in Big South history to return a season-opening kickoff for a touchdown. It was the longest kickoff return in PC's Division I history and the first score from the opening kick for the Blue Hose. It was the fourth time in League annals that an opening kickoff was returned for a TD.
Lunsford recorded a pair of PATs and converted a 49-yard field goal in Liberty's 20-17 loss at Wake Forest. His first career attempt was also a 49-yarder, but it sailed just right on the final play of the first half. Lunsford connected later from the same distance with 9:39 left in the game that pulled the Flames to within three points, 20-17. He also averaged 62.0 yards on his four kickoffs, two of which went for touchbacks.
Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Jeremy Height (Coastal Carolina), Brian Hudson (Liberty), Demarcus Rouse (Presbyterian), David Turner (VMI).
Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Walt Aikens (Liberty), Jawara Dudley (Stony Brook).
Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Alex Catron (Coastal Carolina), John Lunsford (Liberty), Graham Ball (Stony Brook).
Also nominated for Freshman of the Week: Chad Geter (Gardner-Webb).