GWU's Riddick earns spot on watch list

Nov. 20, 2013 @ 07:24 AM

Hoping to join the ranks of such collegiate defensive ends like Terrell Suggs and Jadaveon Clowney, Gardner-Webb junior Shaquille Riddick has been named to the Ted Hendricks Award mid-season watch list.

The award is named for three-time All-American, former University of Miami and Oakland Raiders lineman Ted Hendricks and is awarded annually to the top collegiate defensive end.

Riddick is the only player from the Football Championship Subdivision to be placed on the list and the second GWU player to earn the honor, joining All-American Brian Johnston who was on the list in 2007.

"He has done a good job," said GWU head coach Carroll McCray. "I think one thing that has helped him out has been Preston Pemassa and having two guys like that up front has helped Shaquille and his production."

After Saturday's win over Charleston Southern, Riddick holds the Big South record for number of sacks for a season with 8.5.

On the year, Riddick has 67 total tackles and is second in the nation with 19 tackles for loss. He is tops nationally with 109 negative yards totaled and set a career-high with 17 quarterback hurries.

For Riddick, his mantra with one game left in the season is simple.

"We want to keep building on this and losing is not an option," Riddick said.

The Akron, Ohio junior has been solid against ranked opponents.

The Runnin' Bulldogs are 3-1 against teams ranked nationally and Riddick has 28 tackles, nine for loss and 3.5 sacks to go along with nine quarterback hurries in those four games.

He has contributed to a defense that is sixth nationally in total defense, allowing just 296.4 yards per game and 21st in rushing defense with 121.1 yards per game.

Gardner-Webb is also 14th in passing defense, allowing 175.3 yards per game and eighth in third-down conversion defense as well as ninth in first downs allowed.

But, it has been his improvement against the run which has drawn the attention of McCray.

"We've trying to force him to get better against the run," McCray said. "He loves the pass rush, but we have tried to work on his ability to get against the run."

The work has culminated into the creation of a defense other coaches have taken notice of.

"We've trying to force him to get better against the run," "He loves the pass rush, but we have tried to work on his ability to get against the run." said Presbyterian head coach Harold Nichols.

The Blue Hose will be the final opponent of the season for the Runnin' Bulldogs as they will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday in Clinton, S.C.