The votes are in, and after months of speculation Virginia State running back Trent Cannon has been declared the CIAA Offensive Player of The Year, edging out Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall. Virginia Union’s Sterling Hammond picked up the Defensive Player of the Year Award and Bowie State’s Gene Carson was named Special Teams Player of the Year.
Cannon had a sensational senior season that saw him compile 1,387 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in just nine games. His rushing total is fifth in all of NCAA DII football, he will get to add to that total this week in the CIAA Championship Game.
The Hampton, VA native is the first VSU player to win this award since Kevin Jones won it back-to-back in 2002 and 2003. Damon Thompson, Gregory Clark (1993) and Daniel Boyton (1987) are other VSU players to win the award.
No Repeat For Hall
CIAA Offensive Player of The Year goes to…
— HBCU Gameday (@HBCUGameday) November 6, 2017
Hall, a junior from Bowie, Maryland failed to repeat as Offensive Player of The Year despite a sensational junior campaign. The Bowie, Maryland native has thrown for 3,187 yards (3rd in the nation), 39 touchdowns (best in the nation) while completing a blazing 67 percent of his passes and throwing just four interceptions in 321 pass attempts. He also leads the nation’s top offense.
He led his team to a 9-1 record and although it fell short of a bid for a third-straight championship game appearance, Bowie State appears to be solidly in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Panther Powered Defense
Hammond finished the season ranked first in the conference with 5 interceptions. He tallied 70 total tackles, including 46 solo tackles. The Caret, Virginia native earned CIAA Defensive Back of the Week on two occasions this season.
Can He Kick It? Yes He Can
Gene Carson, Bowie State University’s sophomore kicker, has been named Special Teams Player of the Year. Carson scored 102 points for the Bulldogs this season, completing 10-13 (77%) field goals and 72-77 (94%) extra point attempts.