CCU’s Hawthorne, Baldwin, Backus earn weekly honors

Coastal Carolina’s LaDarius Hawthorne was named the Big South Special Teams Player of the Week and corner back Samson Baldwin was tabbed the league’s Freshman of the Week.

Also, linebacker Quinn Backus was named the National Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.

The Chanticleers are ranked 22nd and 24th in the FCS Coaches and The Sports Network polls, respectively, and are coming off a 27-20 win at South Carolina State in the teams’ season opener.

Hawthorne (Ware Shoals, S.C.) came up with the play of the game for the Chanticleers as he blocked a SC State field goal midway through the third quarter. With Coastal down eight and the Bulldogs lining up for a 39-yard field goal to take an apparent 11-point lead, Hawthorne came off the right edge and blocked the field goal attempt. On the play, Backus picked up ball and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. Coastal would convert the two-point play and tie the game at 20-20. Hawthorne added two tackles on defense, one for a three-yard loss and one for no gain.

Baldwin (Greenville, S.C./J.L. Mann HS) started at cornerback and made seven tackles, including a three-yard tackle for loss, and added two pass breakups. The seven tackles – five being solo – ranked third on the team. Baldwin’s first PBU came on SC State’s second drive of the second half and SC State would end up punting. His other breakup came on 4th-and-3 with 5:23 left that forced a turnover on downs. Baldwin’s effort helped a Coastal defense that forced two SC State punts, a blocked field goal and three turnovers on downs – including a goal line stand.

Backus (Greenwood, S.C.) lived up to his preseason hype by registering 10 tackles (seven solo) with a sack and that 56-yard touchdown off Hawthorne’s blocked field goal. The SC State game marked the 10th double-digit tackle game in Backus’ career.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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