Texas A&M senior Dustin Harris was named National Punt Returner of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) on Sunday after a record-setting performance in the Aggies’ 70-14 win over South Carolina State.
Harris, from Livingston, Texas, shredded the Bulldogs for 246 punt return yards on eight returns, which shattered his own single game school record from last season and the Southeastern Conference’s 64-year old record. Harris had six returns of 19 yards or more, including a breath-taking 96-yard return for a touchdown. Harris’ long return was the second-longest in school history behind Bob Goode’s 98-yarder against Ellington Field in 1945.
Harris broke his old school record of 162 yards set vs. Kansas last year, and eclipsed the SEC record of 203 yards set by Vanderbilt’s Lee Nalley against Kentucky in 1948. It was the third punt return touchdown of Harris’ career, joining his 54-yarder against Louisiana Tech in 2010 and his 72-yarder vs. Kansas in 2011. He matched the career school record for punt return touchdowns originally set by Kevin Smith from 1988-91.
Three other Aggies received honorable mention from the CFPA: junior defensive end Damontre Moore (DL of the Week), senior punter Ryan Epperson (Punter of the Week) and freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel (QB of the Week).
Moore, the leading sacker in the NCAA, led the Aggies with six tackles, including a sack and three total tackles for losses. Epperson averaged 48.3 yards on three boots and had two “coffin corner” efforts. Manziel accounted for five touchdowns with two rushing scores and three passing touchdowns while gaining 252 total yards in two quarters of action.