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July 2020
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More awards for Brandon Easterling! UD safety named STATS FCS National Player of the Week

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Junior Safety Ties UD Record With Three Interceptions, Ties NCAA Record With A 100-Yard TD Return


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CHICAGO – University of Dayton junior safety Brandon Easterling was named the national STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in UD’s 46-29 win at Drake on Saturday.


Easterling is only the third player in FCS football to have three interceptions in a game this year, and is the only FCS defender to return an interception 100 yards this season.


He was the 11th Flyer to intercept three passes in a game, and the third to make a 100-yard interception return.  Any 100-yard return is big, but Easterling’s long distance haul changed everything about the game.

Brandon Easterling


His first pick of the day set up a Sam Webster field goal that pulled Dayton to within 22-17 with 31 seconds remaining.  Drake quickly moved down the field and was looking to make it a two-score game on the last play of the half.  Instead, Easterling beat the Drake tight end to the ball just over the goal line and took it back all the way.  Suddenly, Dayton had a lead going into the locker room the Flyers would not trail again.


While Easterling’s second interception turned the game around, his third with 1:48 left in the game sealed the result.  It gave UD its first short field of the game, setting up a 19-yard touchdown drive that created the final 17-point margin.


He also led the Flyers in tackles for the eighth time in 10 games.  His 11 tackles (seven solo) were the most by anyone in the game.


The junior from Fairborn, Ohio is having a marvelous season.  He leads FCS football in total tackles per game (12.6) and solo tackles per game (7.2), is second fumbles (3) and sixth in interceptions (0.5).  He was a mid-season addition to the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually by STATS to the top defensive player in FCS football.


Easterling is the second Dayton player to receive a national “of the week” honor in 2019, and is the seventh Flyer to a PFL player of the week recognition.


Dayton is 7-3 on the season, and tied for second in the PFL with a 5-2 record.  The Flyers close out the 2019 season on Saturday at home against Butler.  That will be Senior Day for UD’s 33-man senior class.  At halftime one of them will be named the winner of the Lt. Andy Zulli Trophy, a character-driven award that is regarded as the most prestigious honor in the Flyer football program.  Game time is 1 p.m. ET.



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