September 26, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin junior linebacker James Gilleylen has been named Defensive Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association for his efforts against No. 20 Tennessee State over the past weekend.

Gilleylen has continually given opposing offenses challenges and Saturday’s matchup against nationally ranked Tennessee State was no different. Gilleylen – the OVC’s leader in tackles for loss – was active throughout the contest, tallying seven total tackles – including three solos – while notching a half tackle for loss and a team-high two quarterback hurries. Along with his tackling ability, he forced a fumble on the Tigers second play from scrimmage which gave the Skyhawks the ball on the TSU 26 and directly set up a scoring drive in the first quarter. He later came up with another big play, recovering a fumble to stall a drive in the second period.

A native of Tupelo, Miss., Gilleylen sits second on the team with 28 total tackles while notching 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, four quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble on the season. He currently ranks second in the OVC in fumbles recovered, third in sacks, fourth in tackles for loss and 10th in tackles per game.

Gilleylen and the No. 18 ranked Skyhawks will return to action against Ohio Valley Conference foe Austin Peay on Saturday, Sept. 30. Kickoff from Fortera Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.