Walter Evans and Jackson Redditt, both of the University of Tennessee at Martin football team, were recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference today for their remarkable performances in Saturday’s 37-16 win at Eastern Illinois. Evans was named adidas OVC Defensive Player of the Week while Redditt brought home adidas OVC Specialist of the Week honors.
The Skyhawk duo helped UT Martin to its fifth straight conference victory and a third-place finish in the OVC standings. UT Martin finished with a 6-6 overall record with a 5-3 league mark.
A 5-11, 175-pound redshirt junior safety out of Memphis, Evans was a difference maker for the Skyhawk defense that limited Eastern Illinois 19 points below its season average and held the Panthers scoreless for a stretch of 38:19 from the latter stages of the first quarter through the early portion of the fourth quarter.
After UT Martin went ahead 10-9 in the first quarter, Evans recovered a fumble on the Skyhawks’ 1-yard line that kept Eastern Illinois out of the endzone. Minutes later, he came away with his team-best third interception of the season at the UT Martin 47-yard line with 32 seconds left in the second quarter. That set up a big touchdown before the half that extended the Skyhawk lead from one to two possessions.
Evans concluded his season with 66 tackles, the third-best total on the team. All three of his interceptions came in conference play while he also added three tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry in 12 games – all starts.
Redditt was clutch for the Skyhawks on Saturday, successfully splitting the uprights on three field goals (from 25, 22 and 52 yards out) and all four PAT opportunities for 13 points – the second game this season where Redditt has eclipsed double-digits in that category.
Redditt’s 25-yarder at the end of the first quarter gave the Skyhawks a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. His 22-yarder came on the opening possession of the second half to keep the momentum on the Skyhawks’ side while his 52-yarder late in the third quarter tied a career-long.
The 6-2, 190-pound redshirt junior from Mt. Juliet finished the season with 80 points (12-for-15 on field goal opportunities, 44-of-45 in PAT attempts). Redditt also averaged 57.5 yards with 22 touchbacks in 64 kickoff chances. His 80 percent field goal accuracy ranks second in the OVC and 19th nationally.