DALLAS (FWAA) – Michigan State safety RJ Williamson scored a touchdown on a fumble return and had an interception on a late Air Force drive, providing two of the Spartans’ multiple big plays that helped them move to 3-0 on the season with a 35-21 win. His third career touchdown return helped him earn him the AutoNation FWAA Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 19.
Williamson, a 6-0, 215-pound fifth-year senior from Dayton, Ohio, impacted the game when it was only eight minutes old when he scooped up an Air Force fumble and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Michigan State lead. It was the first fumble return for a score of his career. He had two interception returns for touchdowns last season.
His interception – the eighth of his career and second this season – halted an Air Force drive at the MSU 8-yard line with 5:11 left in the game with the Spartans protecting a 35-14 lead. He later recovered an onside kick attempt with 2:10 left to preserve the win.
“He’s a great leader on the defense,” Michigan State co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett said. “He’s seen a lot of different things. He understands the in-game adjustments, which are more important than anything, being able to communicate them to the other players as well as to the coaches, what he sees. You could see him and his game going to another level.”
2015 AutoNation FWAA Defensive Players of the Week
• Week of Sept. 5: Karl Joseph, West Virginia
• Week of Sept. 12: Kai Nacua, BYU
• Week of Sept. 19: RJ Williamson, Michigan State