Brathwaite voted C-USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week after 15-tackle effort
DALLAS, Texas — WKU Football safety A.J. Brathwaite, Jr. was voted Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. It is the 10th time a Hilltopper defender has earned the honor since WKU joined the league prior to the 2014 season.
Brathwaite led the Hilltoppers with a career-high 15 total tackles (nine solo, six assisted) while adding a sack and a forced fumble against Big Ten opponent Indiana. His 15 tackles tied for the fourth-most by a WKU defender in the program’s FBS Era (since 2009). Most recently, safety Devon Key reached that mark on September 19, 2020, vs. Liberty.
The Miami, Fla., native was only 1-of-11 defenders this past weekend with 15-plus tackles and only 1-of-2 from C-USA (Florida Atlantic’s Jordan Helm also had 15 tackles at Air Force).
A first-year starter, Brathwaite came into the season with 18 career tackles in 28 games at WKU. A key special teams player for the Hilltoppers over the past three years, Brathwaite blocked a punt on October 19, 2019, vs. Charlotte and recovered a fumbled snap on a punt and returned it for a touchdown on December 6, 2020, also against the 49ers.
Brathwaite joins Wonderful Terry (twice in 2014), DeAngelo Malone (twice, 2019 and 2020), Marcus Ward (2015), Nick Holt (2015), Joe Brown (2017), Kyle Bailey (2019) and Key (2019) as WKU’s C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honorees. Overall Hilltopper Football has won 16 Offensive, 10 Defensive and 11 Special Teams Player of the Week awards over the past seven-plus seasons.
WKU travels to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend for a matchup against the #16/17 Spartans on Saturday, October 2. Kickoff will be at 6:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcasted nationally on Big Ten Network.