With the 2018 season just weeks away, HBCU Gameday takes a look at the top quarterbacks at the D2 level for HBCUs. All conferences were considered, but these CIAA and SIAC signal callers found their way on the list.
1. Amir Hall, Bowie State
Hall enters his senior campaign looking to put a cap on a career that could see him finish statistically as the top quarterback ever to have played in the 106-year history of the conference. The Bowie, MD native exceeded all expectations after his breakout sophomore campaign in 2016. Hall was the trigger man for the top scoring offense in Division II football, throwing for better than 3,500 yards including 41 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Add in another 406 yards and eight scores on the ground and you’ve got one helluva quarterback in the DMV.
After claiming the Deacon Jones Trophy and the HBCU Gameday/Protect Your Skull Offensive Player of the Year last season, Hall has done just about everything you can do at this level individually. This season will be about finally getting his team over its postseason hump (BSU has gone 0-4 in postseason games the last three year) and showing he’s a legit pro prospect.
2. Cordelral Cook
Virginia State’s unbeaten season and CIAA Championship featured a heavy dose of Trent Cannon as the headliner, but Cook played a vital role as well. A former Alabama State signee, Cook landed in VA under former ASU coach Reggie Barlow last year and paid immediate dividends, rushing for two scores in VSU’s 14-10 win over rival NSU. He was a headache for defenses all around from start to finish, completing 57 percent of his passes and going eight games in a row without throwing an interception. He also rushed for 729 yards and scored 18 touchdowns on the ground to lead VSU in that category. Cook rushed for better than 100 yards four times and for three scores in three consecutive games.
This season Cook won’t have Cannon to hand the ball off two, which means defenses might make stopping him the priority unless one of his replacements can step up and form a similar threat. It will be interesting to see how the offense shifts in the 804 this season.
3. Darius Taylor, Virginia Union
Just down the road in Richmond, Darius Taylor quietly put together a solid year for Virginia Union. Taylor threw for 22 touchdowns (second only to Hall) in nine games as VUU finished 6-4 last season. With another year under his belt and a new coach in Dr. Alvin Parker, Taylor could be in for an even bigger year. The 6’5, 200 pound junior from Washington D.C. will need to be more accurate than the 51 percent total he finished with last year, but he’s got time to progress.
4. Slade Jarmon, Fort Valley
Fort Valley State returned to the SIAC Championship Game in 2017 and Jarmon was a big reason why. Jarmon led the SIAC in pass efficiency, completing almost 58 percent of his passes of last season. He threw a modest 14 touchdown passes in 2017 but only threw five touchdowns.
5. Jamarcus Ezell, Tuskegee
Okay, we’ll just be honest: Ezell’s completion percentage (44 percent) is brutally bad. On any level of football. In fact, none of his passing numbers are impressive. But he made enough plays with his legs and feet to help ‘Skegee capture the SIAC crown last season. He has to get better as a passer if ‘Skegee has aspirations of winning beyond the SIAC, but as the youngest player on this list he’s got time to do so.