BRENTWOOD, Tenn. –University of Tennessee at Martin sophomore linebacker James Gilleylen was named adidas Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week after his standout performance against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.
A native of Tupelo, Miss., Gilleylen earned player of the week honors after contributing his first defensive score of the season while contributing in a dominant defensive performance. Gilleylen tallied four tackles in Saturday’s contest – including a tackle for loss – but notched an interception which he returned nine yards for a touchdown along with recording both a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. His interception marked the second of his career while marking the fourth interception returned for a touchdown by the Skyhawks this season.
Gilleylen helped anchor a defensive unit which posted the program’s first home victory over Eastern Kentucky since 2010 after limiting their opponent to just three points. The game ranked as the fewest points allowed since posting a shutout against Tennessee State in 2010. The Skyhawks held Eastern Kentucky to a season-low 229 yards of total offense while allowing just 58 rushing yards – the least allowed since 2010.
The award is the first of Gilleylen’s career while marking the team’s second OVC Defensive Player of the Week honor this season. As a whole, the Skyhawks have tallied four OVC Player of the Week accolades this season.