Football Writers Association of America Oct. 19, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
214-870-6516
A weekly look at the first-year standout players and coaches
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2021 FRESHMAN FOCUS: WEEK 7

DALLAS (FWAA) Each week during the 2021 season, we will highlight the notable performances of first-year players and head coaches leading up to the selection of our annual Freshman All-America Team and the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage. Here are the top performances from Week 7, the weekend of Oct. 16:

FIRST-YEAR PLAYERS: THE FRESH FOUR

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia (6-4, 230, Napa, Calif.): 5 receptions, 101 yards, 2 TD

Bowers continued to make his immediate impact felt with a pair of incredible touchdown catches in the second half of Georgia's 30-13 win over Kentucky. The true freshman displayed excellent route running and athleticism to help the Bulldogs put the Wildcats away. Bowers will look to continue his success next Saturday against rival Florida following an idle week.

Cal Haladay, LB, Michigan State (6-1, 235, Elysburg, Pa.): 7 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD

Haladay and the rest of the Michigan State defense had another strong outing en route to a 20-15 revenge win over Indiana. The redshirt freshman intercepted a pass in the first quarter and took it to the house for the first Spartan touchdown of the day. Haladay and the Michigan State front were strong, allowing just 134 rushing yards on 36 attempts. The Spartan defense will take this coming Saturday off before facing bitter rival Michigan the following weekend.

Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy (5-8, 215, Marietta, Ga.): 25 rushes, 162 yards, 2 TD; 3 receptions, 9 yards

Vidal led the Trojans in all-purpose yards Saturday in a 31-28 win against Texas State. The redshirt freshman set the tone for the Troy attack with a 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before hitting paydirt again in the third quarter. Vidal will attempt to keep rolling next Saturday on the road against No. 15-ranked Coastal Carolina.

Michigan State's Cal Haladay (Icon Sportswire)

Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma (6-1, 210, Washington, D.C.): 18/23, 295 yards, 4 TD; 9 rushes, 66 yards, 1 TD

Williams' first collegiate start did not disappoint as the Sooners pulled away from TCU, 52-31. The dual-threat was consistently electric both on the ground and through the air. The true freshman also connected with Jaden Haselwood for three scores Saturday. The Oklahoma faithful should expect to see some more explosion this coming Saturday as Williams leads a revamped offense into Kansas.

STEVE SPURRIER FIRST-YEAR COACHES

Terry Bowden, ULM: Bowden's Warhawks put up a massive third-quarter performance to upset Liberty 31-28. The 31.5-point underdogs scored 28 unanswered points in the third frame before a 53-yard Calum Sutherland field goal in the fourth quarter put ULM ahead for good. Running back Andrew Henry contributed 80 yards rushing and 1 score on 15 attempts with 23 yards receiving and another touchdown on two receptions. The Warhawks stifled the Liberty pass attack, allowing just 4.8 yards per pass with three interceptions.

Bryan Harsin, Auburn: Harsin's Tigers made a statement with a dominant 38-23 road win over No. 17-ranked Arkansas. Auburn held the Razorbacks scoreless in the fourth quarter and a Bo Nix 23-yard touchdown run sealed the victory in the waning minutes of the game. Nix finished 21-of-26 passing for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception with 42 yards rushing and a score on 5 rushes.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

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