COLUMBUS, Ohio – First Team All-ACC cornerback Tarvarus McFadden is the 2016 Jack Tatum Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, the Touchdown Club of Columbus announced Friday morning. McFadden’s eight interceptions are tied for the national lead and are the most for any Seminole since Terrell Buckley, the 1991 Tatum Award winner, had a school-record 12.
McFadden, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., wins the award named for the late Ohio State legend. Past winners include Charles Woodson of Michigan, Miami’s Sean Taylor, and Tennessee’s Eric Berry.
McFadden started all 12 games for the Noles this season, tallying interceptions against a who’s-who of collegiate quarterbacks. In the season opener, his interception of Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly sealed the FSU victory. He went on to record interceptions against Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson of Louisville, American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Quinton Flowers of USF, Miami’s Brad Kaaya and 2015 Heisman Trophy Finalist Deshaun Watson of Clemson.
McFadden’s eight interceptions are tied with the late Monk Bonasorte (1979) and Curt Campbell (1951) for the second-most in Florida State single-season history, trailing Buckley’s 1991 total.
The Jack Tatum Award will be presented during the 62nd Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on February 4, 2017.
Already earning first-team All-ACC and first-team NFCA Southeast All-Region honors this season, Powers batted .360 with 19 doubles, 10 home runs, 51 RBI and 54 runs scored. A 2016 second-team NFCA All-American, Powers now holds the all-time doubles record at Florida State with 51, and her 19 doubles in 2017 is tied for the most in a single season. Working her way into becoming one of the best offensive players in FSU history, Powers finished her career in the top five of the FSU career marks for slugging percentage (.612, third), RBI (171, third), walks (133, T-third) and home runs (35, fourth). A career .350 hitter, Powers had a breakout season at the plate in 2016 and posted a .396 batting average with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and 63 RBI, earning ACC Player of the Year honors.
“We are extremely excited about Alex Powers receiving this great honor,” said Head Coach Lonni Alameda. “She has worked so hard for this program and has been one of our leaders among an amazing senior class that all build on each other. AP has grown so much in every aspect of her life, and we are very proud of her and know that she represents Seminole Softball both on and off the field daily. It is neat to see others recognize her for that as well.”
Beyond the field, Powers has remained committed to excellence in the classroom, to prioritizing community outreach and to maintaining a high level of personal character. A 2015 NFCA Scholar-Athlete and member of the All-ACC Academic Team, Powers graduated with a degree in sports management in 2016 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree. In both 2016 and 2017, she earned the Golden Nole Award as FSU softball’s best representative of community service and, along with the softball team as a whole, earned the FSU Athletic Director’s Cup for Service in 2014 and 2015. As an active member of the FSU Softball TRIBE, Powers has volunteered at the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Cancer Center, read to elementary students and helped clean up trash through FSU softball’s partnership with the City of Tallahassee’s Adopt-A-Street program.
“Alex Powers is the all-around excellent student-athlete we are thrilled to be able to recognize through the Senior CLASS Award,” said Erik Miner, the award’s executive director. “She has worked hard and made a difference in her community while excelling on and off the field. Our sincere congratulations to Alex, her team and to Florida State University.”
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep up to date with everything about Seminole softball.