INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Franklin College senior linebacker Austin Fleming was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday afternoon when the league released its annual weekly awards.
The Rensselaer, Ind.-native was all over the field on Saturday (Oct. 13) afternoon, piling up a season-high 14 tackles and picking off his first career pass in a 42-34 win over Mount St. Joseph in a battle of HCAC unbeatens.
Fleming's biggest play of the day took place right before the end of the first half with the Lions driving near midfield. The middle linebacker reached up and snagged a Chaiten Tomlin pass for his first career interception, preserving a 14-10 Franklin lead as the teams went into the locker room at half. His 14 tackles were his most in a game since he finished with a career-high 16 stops against Wartburg in the 2017 Division III playoffs.
It marks the third consecutive week at least one Grizzly collected one of the conference's three weekly football awards. Two weeks ago, senior wideout Ben Fleet was named HCAC Offensive Player of the Week, an award claimed by junior running back Jacob Earl one week ago. Fleming becomes the first Grizzly to collect Defensive Player of the Week honors since Tyler Reed back on Oct. 23, 2017.
Fleming and the Grizzlies return home on Saturday (Oct. 20) afternoon for an HCAC meeting with Earlham College. Kickoff from Faught Stadium is set for 1:30 p.m.