As we prepare for the 2013 football season, we’re taking a look at the best returning HBCU players at each position. Today, we check out the top linebackers in the CIAA. Next up, the SWAC.
Carlos Fields, Winston-Salem State
As the defending CIAA Defensive Player of The Year, putting Fields at the top of this list was one of the easier decisions we’ve had to make. The last of WSSU’s Division I recruits under Kermit Blount, Fields has come a long way since considering transfer following his freshman season. Ultimately he stuck it out and it couldn’t have worked out better for either side. Kameron Smith and the Rams high powered offense picked up most of the headlines last season, but WSSU’s title run wouldn’t have been possible without the defense. Their run could have easily ended against IUP, had it not been for the defense, led by Fields, making four straight stops inside its own 10 yard-line.
Ken White, Livingstone
White’s Livingstone squad didn’t have anywhere near the level of success that Fields and WSSU did, but he definitely showed he could get it done. The 6’0, 223 pound linebacker had great sophomore season for the Blue Bears, leading the CIAA in regular season tackles with 103 for an average of 10.3 per game, 9.5 of them for loss. He finished with six games of double-digit tackles and intercepted two passes. White made his first appearance on the All-CIAA team, but it definitely won’t be his last.
Chaz Robinson, St. Augustine’s
St. Augustine was a middle-of-the pack defensive team last season, but ranked first against the run. Robinson was a big reason why as the Hampton native finished with 98 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.
Antoine Young, Bowie State
Redshirting is almost a dirty word for most college athletes, but Young appears to have benefited from sitting out the 2011 season. Young was a steady contributor to a solid Bowie State defense all season, registering four double-digit tackle games, including 21 in the season finale against Elizabeth City State. He finished with 98 total tackles, leading the Bulldogs and earning All-CIAA Second Team honors.
Tyheim Pitt, Livingstone
Like White, Pitt was a solid defender for a Livingstone defense that needed all the playmakers it could get. Pitt finished with 89 tackles, including 8.5 for loss. He was also a factor in the passing game, picking off two passes and breaking up eight more. With Pitt and White returning, opposing offenses may not be so successful against the Blue Bears in 2013.