Wildcats senior wide receiver and punt returner Rashid Shaheed was named the FCS Special Teams Player of the Week and Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after breaking the all-time record of most return touchdowns in FCS history in the 40–17 win against Idaho State on Oct. 30.
The San Diego native is going into his fifth season at Weber State after redshirting his freshman year in 2017 and being a senior for a second season this fall.
He has been one of the main focal points in the Wildcats’ offense and special teams unit and already has 459 receiving yards and 605 kick return yards this season alone in eight games.
“Whenever I do get an opportunity to make a play, I try to make the best of it,” Shaheed said. “I know it may not come very often, but when I see the ball in the air, I know this is my chance. Teams don’t want to kick to us, but when we get the opportunity, we try to use it to our advantage, and it has paid off so far.”
The opportunity did come.
With 5:30 left in the third quarter, WSU quarterback Bronson Barron threw a pass that was intercepted by Bengals cornerback Jayden Dawson and he ran 45 yards to score a touchdown before ISU kicker David Allish sent the ball through the goal posts and converted the extra point to close the Wildcats’ lead down to 20–17.
On the ensuing play, Allish punted the ball to Shaheed, and he did the rest.
He caught the ball and slithered past the Bengals’ defense to return a 98-yard touchdown.
Shaheed threw up seven fingers once he ran through the end zone because he knew he just achieved a major milestone.
“Going into every single week, I was going in thinking about breaking the FCS record,” Shaheed said. “The coaches kept harping at me and the special teams to get the number seven and to be part of history.”
This moment would mark the seventh time that Shaheed has returned a kick and scored a touchdown on the same play. His last touchdown return also happened this season in a non-conference game against University of Utah on Sept. 2.
After the game against Idaho State, Shaheed found out a couple days later that he was recognized as not only the Big Sky Player of the Week, but the FCS also named him as the Special Teams Player of the Week for breaking the record.
“It was super exciting. I had people calling me and others trying to get in contact with me and I had no idea why,” Shaheed said. “Then I found out on Twitter that it was the first time anyone from Weber has won the FCS award since 2016. It was cool to get Weber’s name out on a national level.”
WSU returned to Stewart Stadium on Nov. 6 and lost 30–18 against Portland State, bringing them to 4–5 overall and 3–3 in the Big Sky. Weber State has not won a home game this season and are currently 0–4 in Ogden.
The Wildcats will head down to Cedar City as they try to bounce back from the loss to PSU when they clash with in-state rivals Southern Utah University on Nov. 13.