KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Carson-Newman mike linebacker Rondrow Peebles completed the weekly awards trifecta Tuesday night when D2Football.com named the Knoxville native its national defensive player of the week.
Peebles is Carson-Newman’s first national player of the week honoree since 2015. Damian Baker and Justin Long earned national offensive player of the week honors for a 249 yard day against Mars Hill that year, while long was special teams player of the week after blocking two kicks against Newberry.
Peebles becomes Carson-Newman’s sixth all-time national player of the week selection and the first for C-N since 2009.
Mario Russell earned national defensive player of the week honors from the organization on Sept. 30, 2009 after Russell tied a NCAA Division II record with four forced fumbles in a 23-20 win over Newberry. He also had eight tackles and five pass breakups.
Deonte Bolden was the Eagles other national defensive player of the week, honored Oct. 13, 2003, following a school record four interceptions in a 35-18 win for the Eagles over Newberry. Buck Wakefield is Carson-Newman’s other honoree, earning offensive player of the week honors after breaking the school’s rushing record with a 303 yard day on only 19 carries and leading the Eagles to a 45-7 win over Wingate in 2009.
In his first career start, Peebles tallied 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in the Eagles’ 20-13 win over the Argos. His stops behind the line of scrimmage negated 28 yards for West Florida. He also broke up two passes.
“This is an award for my hard work over the summer,” Peebles said. “Truthfully, though, I care more about my teammates. I’d sacrifice my body for them because I know they’d do it for me.”
Peebles is the first Eagle to earn defensive player of the week honors from the league office since Alonzo Houston picked up the laurels following the Eagles’ 31-14 win over Wingate on ESPN 3 on Sept. 15 last year. He is the first TSWA honoree since Desmond Fairell (Miami, Fla.) was recognized after a two-INT performance against Virginia-Lynchburg on Oct. 21, 2018. With Peebles’ recognition, Carson-Newman has brought home six of the last 11 state defensive player of the week awards.
All of Peebles stats go down as career numbers. He had a combined 11 tackles in his two years with Carson-Newman prior to the West Florida game.
Nationally after week one, he ranks fifth in tackles for loss, 16th for sacks and 33rd for tackles.
As a result of his efforts, Carson-Newman’s defense ranks 10th in the country in sacks, 22nd in total defense and 27th in rush defense.
Peebles and the rest of the Eagles are back in action Saturday, Sept. 21 at Wingate. Kickoff with the Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m.