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Rutgers linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi earns Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors

Senior linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi anchored the Rutgers defense on Saturday. – Photo by Rutgers University Athletics

Senior linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi of the Rutgers football team was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Michigan State on Saturday.

His freshman year, Fatukasi appeared in all 12 games, and during his junior year, he saw his role expand. In the 2019 season, starting 10 out of 12 games at weak-side linebacker, Fatukasi was 11th in the Big Ten with 85 tackles and had two games with double-digit stops. 

On Saturday, Fatukasi ended the Spartans’ first drive of the second half by forcing and recovering a fumble. It was his second fumble recovery of the game, the first coming in the first quarter after junior defensive back Avery Young forced the fumble. 

Fatukasi added 10 total tackles, including three solo tackles, to the Scarlet Knights' (1-0, 1-0) victory. 

It is the first time a Scarlet Knights (1-0) student-athlete has picked up Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors since Jonathan Aiken did on Sept. 1, 2014, for his performance against Washington State.

"(Fatukasi) certainly had a very good game,'' said head football coach Greg Schiano, according to NJ Advance Media. "Very, very happy for him. He’s worked very hard.''

Rutgers will face No. 17 Indiana at home on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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