Oregon’s McKinley III, Verdell Earn National Player of the Week Honors

EUGENE — Safety Verone McKinley III and running back CJ Verdell each earned national honors on Tuesday for their performances in Oregon’s historic win at No. 3 Ohio State last weekend.

McKinley III – who helped seal the win with an interception late in the fourth quarter – was named the Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week by the Football Writers Association of America. As the weekly winner, McKinley III has been added to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s defensive player of the year.

Verdell – who powered the offense with 195 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns – was honored on Tuesday morning as the Maxwell Award player of the week, which is given to the player with the top overall performance on offense, defense, or special teams. The Maxwell Award is presented annually to college football’s most outstanding player.

It is yet another honor this week for Verdell, who has also been named the Pac-12 offensive player of the week, Reese’s Senior Bowl offensive player of the week, and Rose Bowl Pac-12 player of the week.

S VERONE McKINLEY III – Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week

  • Came away with a crucial interception on Ohio State’s penultimate drive to help seal the win.
  • Recorded six tackles while also forcing a fumble and breaking up two passes, including the INT.
  • Notched the sixth interception of his career.
  • Just the second Oregon player since 2000 and first since 2007 to have an interception, forced fumble and multiple pass breakups in a game.
  • Surpassed 100 total tackles for his career.

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 RB CJ VERDELL – Maxwell Award Player of the Week

  • Erupted for 195 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on 23 total touches.
  • Ran for 161 yards and two TDs on 20 carries while catching three passes for 34 yards and a TD.
  • Now tied for seventh on the UO career rushing list with 2,758 yards.
  • Moved into a tie for ninth all-time at Oregon with 24 career rushing TDs.
  • Surpassed 150 yards on the ground for the fifth time in his career.
  • Ran for more than 100 yards in a game for the 11th time in his career, tied for fifth-most in UO history.
  • Hauled in third career receiving TD on a 14-yard reception in the second quarter.
  • 77-yard TD run in the third quarter was his sixth career rush of 70 yards or more.
  • Fifth career game with multiple rushing TDs.
  • Third career game with both a rushing and receiving TD.