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50 players on initial HBCU Football Player of The Year Award list

The second annual Deacon Jones Trophy will be awarded in Feb. 2018.

50 players on initial HBCU Football Player of The Year Award list

The Black College Football Hall of Fame is set to give out the second annual Deacon Jones Trophy in Feburary, and has announced its initial list of 50 candidates.

The list is composed of 15 players each from the MEAC and SWAC, 10 from the SIAC, eight from the CIAA and two from non-HBCU conferences. Former North Carolina A&T star and current Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen was named the inaugural winner last winter.

The winner of the 2017 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be honored with the Deacon Jones Trophy during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which takes place on February 10, 2018 in Atlanta. Four finalists will be unveiled on December 12.

“This is a way to recognize the tremendous talent in HBCU football today,” said Super Bowl MVP quarterback Doug Williams, a BCFHOF co-founder and 2011 inductee. “Through this Award, the Black College Football Hall of Fame is proud to showcase outstanding student-athletes.”

“The Deacon Jones Trophy has become the most prestigious football award for HBCUs,” said BCFHOF co-founder and 2012 inductee James Harris. “Deacon Jones was a pioneer and an icon, and still to this day represents the very best of Black College Football.”

The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2017 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.

First Name Last Name School Position Class
Keontre Anderson Jackson State DL Senior
Kyle Anthony Howard WR Sophomore
Sam Baptiste Alabama State OL Senior
Jason Baxter South Carolina State DB Senior
Dillon Beard Southern University TE Senior
Elijah Bell North Carolina A&T WR Sophomore
Jordan Bentley Alabama A&M RB Sophomore
Jarell Bright Winston-Salem State DL Sophomore
Michael Brooks Alcorn State DL Senior
Antonio Brown North Carolina Central DL Senior
Trenton Cannon Virginia State RB Senior
Martez Carter Grambling State RB Senior
Tedrick Cofield Albany State OL Senior
Lenorris Footman Alcorn State QB Senior
Khris Gardin North Carolina A&T WR/KR Senior
Timothy Gardner Alcorn State OL Senior
Amir Hall Bowie State QB Sophomore
Leroy Hill North Carolina A&T TE Junior
Marcus Holliday Lane RB Junior
Austin Howard Southern University QB Senior
Daris Johnson Bowie State OL Senior
Yahkee Johnson Hampton RB Senior
Danny Johnson Southern University DB Senior
Rodriquez Jones Kentucky State DL Senior
Lavatiae Kelly Virginia Union WR Junior
DeVante Kincade Grambling State QB Senior
Edward Kirkland Benedict DB Senior
Darius Leonard South Carolina State LB Senior
Brandon Lynch Virginia State LB Senior
Alden McClellon North Carolina Central DB Junior
Johnathon McCrary Clark Atlanta QB Senior
Jonah McCutcheon Tuskegee DB Senior
Okechi Ntiasagwe Benedict WR Junior
Ebenezer Ogundeko Tennessee State DL Senior
Brandon Parker North Carolina A&T OL Senior
Anthony Philyaw Howard RB Senior
Lamar Raynard North Carolina A&T QB Junior
Diquan Richardson Bethune-Cookman DB Senior
Trent Scott Grambling State OL Senior
Patrick Smith Tennessee State WR Senior
David Smith Morehouse LB Senior
Victor Tamba, Junior Bowie State OL Senior
Dayshawn Taylor South Carolina State LB Senior
Carlo Thomas Johnson C. Smith DB Senior
Osband Thompson Tuskegee LB Senior
Aaron Tiller Southern University DL Senior
Brandon Varner Grambling State DL Junior
Herb Walker, Jr. Morgan State RB Senior
Donovan Wheaton Prairie View A&M OL Senior
Charles Williams Benedict DL Senior

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