BUTLER NAMED NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Following his performance this past week against North Alabama where he had 9 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack, Liberty LB Anthony Butler was named the national defensive player of the week by Pro Football Focus.
“It was very exciting,” Butler said of the award. “Very humbled to say that I could receive such an award. For me, it’s not about the awards, we just got to focus on winning and keeping this thing going as far as going 4-0. The awards are nice, but if I don’t keep working and doing what I’m supposed to do on my end, then it really doesn’t mean much at all. Blessed, happy to have it, but got to keep working.”
SINGS IS LU’S NEXT GREAT DE
After originally committing to Virginia Tech, Liberty was able to grab Stephen Sings at the last minute this past spring. After having difficulty qualifying, Sings got a blessing with the NCAA relaxing academic eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen this season as many high school seniors were unable to take SAT and ACT tests this past spring. It has worked out to Liberty’s benefit as Sings has been the true freshman to make the biggest impact on the field early this season.
After TreShaun Clark was dismissed from the North Alabama game in the first quarter for a targeting penalty, Sings got a significant increase in snaps, and he showed very well as he finished the game with 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
“We threw Stephen Sings out there and he didn’t always know where to lineup, but man he played hard,” said Freeze. “He’s going to be a great player for us, had a heck of a game.”
Defensive coordinator Scott Symons had similar thoughts.
“He was prepared because of how he prepares every single day,” said Symons. “He is probably the most focused young man we have in practice. He soaks everything up. He is a guy that really wants to learn and wants to be great. When we recruited him, we knew he was going to play. He was a top tier player at his position in the country. We felt like he was going to have a role for us this season.”
KIDD-GLASS RULED DOUBTFUL
Early in the week, Liberty’s coaching staff was hopeful safety Tim Kidd-Glass could make his debut this weekend. The former N.C. State starting safety transferred to Liberty just prior to the 2019 season that he had to sit out due to transfer requirements.
At N.C. State, Kidd-Glass played in 33 games over the past 3 seasons while making 9 starts during his sophomore season in 2017. In his 3-year career with the Wolfpack, Kidd-Glass amassed 68 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 4 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles.
“Right now, we are as healthy as we’ve been, so that’s a positive,” LU defensive coordinator Scott Symons said of his secondary on Monday. “Should have Tim Kidd-Glass, hopefully, back in some form or fashion in this game. It will probably be a limited role for him, but we would like to get him out there.”
Following Thursday’s practice, head coach Hugh Freeze said Kidd-Glass was doubtful for Saturday’s game.
WR Noah Frith is expected to miss his second straight game following a hamstring injury suffered late in the game against Florida International. Freeze says Frith is “another week away, two weeks away,” which would put him in line to possibly return next week against Syracuse.
TE Johnny Huntley is expected to play and S Cedric Stone is day to day as he is in the concussion protocol. On Thursday, Freeze said Stone is doubtful.
DE Aakil Washington and DT Elijah James, who both missed last week’s game against North Alabama, are expected to play this week.
DE Rashad Whitehead, who also missed the game against North Alabama, is out. Freeze says he is “still a few days away.”
S Benjamin Alexander is fighting back from an ankle injury suffered against North Alabama. Freeze says he is a full go.