This week’s HBCU NFL ProFile again highlights outstanding defenders in the league from South Carolina State.
Two-time all-pro linebacker Darius Leonard sweated through all 73 defensive plays for the Colts Monday. The effort was great but Indy came up on the short end of a disappointing 31-25 overtime loss at Baltimore. Leonard led Indy with 13 tackles, seven solos and a goal-line fumble recovery.
He returned the fumble 21 yards before lateraling to Isaiah Rodgers who returned it for a touchdown. After an officials’ review, it was determined Leonard’s lateral was a forward lateral and the play was brought back.
Leonard repeats as the HBCU NFL Defensive Player of the Week.
More SCSU Bulldogs
Outstanding former South Carolina State defensive lineman Javon Hargrave continued his outstanding play for the Philadelphia Eagles this week. Hargrave took down Carolina QB Sam Darnold for his sixth sack of the season in a 21-18 Eagles’ win. He also had another hit on Darnold along with three tackles.
Hargrave’s six sacks are fourth in the NFL. He has become a dominant pass rusher – his forte at SC State – in his sixth season in the league. He is well on his way to an all-pro season. Hargave and Leonard were two-time winners of the MEAC’s defensive player of the year award while at SC State.
Arizona DB Antonio Hamilton, also out of SCSU, started and played extended minutes in a win over San Francisco Sunday. Hamilton posted six tackles while getting in on 97% of the undefeated Cardinals’ defensive plays in a 17-10 win.
HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of October 7-11, 2021
– #53 DARIUS LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (4th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In tough 31-25 loss in overtime to Baltimore, Leonard led the Indianapolis defense with 13 tackes, 7 solos. He also recovered a fumble with a 21-yard return. Leonard played all 73 defensive snaps (100%) and one special teams’ snap (4%).
– #80 CHESTER ROGERS, WR, Tennessee (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In the Titans’ 37-19 win over Jacksonville, Rogers had one catch for 26 yards in his only target and one carry for nine yards. He did not return a punt or kickoff. He was in on 31 offensive plays (48%) and two special teams’ plays (8%).
– #7 JAMIE GILLAN, P, Cleveland (3rd season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – In 47-42 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Gillan punted three times for 134 yards (44.7 average) with a long punt of 53 yards and one touchback (34.9-yard net). He was in on nine special teams’ plays (28%).
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
– #18 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Detroit (4th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – In Lions’ 19-17 loss to Minnesota, Hodge had one catch in five targets that was good for 17 yards. He had 44 plays on offense (65%) and nine plays on special teams (35%).
– #71 TYTUS HOWARD, OG, Houston (3rd season, ALABAMA STATE) – Starting at left offensive guard in Texans’ 25-22 loss to New England, Howard and the offense generated 67 rushing yards and 312 passing yards and gave up three sacks. Howard was in on all 59 offensive plays (100%) and five special teams’ plays (19%).
– #75 BRANDON PARKER, OT, Las Vegas (4th season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – In 20-9 loss to Chicago, Parker started at right tackle on an offense that rushed for 71 yards and passed for 206 yards. QB Derek Carr was sacked three times. Parker was in on all 67 offensive plays (100%) and one play on special teams (5%).
– #97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (6th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 21-18 win over Carolina, Hargrave had three total tackles, one solo, a sack for -9 yards and another hit on the quarterback. He got in on 49 plays on defense (69%) and two plays on special teams (6%). Hargrave now has six sacks on the season in five games.
– #33 ANTONIO HAMILTON, DB, Arizona (6th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 17-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Hamilton started at cornerback and had six tackles, four solos. and one assisted tackle. In his most extensive action of the season, he logged 63 plays on defense (97%). He was also in on two plays on special teams (11%).
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (5th season, ALBANY STATE) – In Colts’ 31-25 overtime loss to Baltimore, Stewart had two tackles, with one solo tackle for loss. He was in on 49 defensive plays (67%) and nine on special teams (36%).
– #49 TRENTON CANNON, RB, San Francisco (4th season, VIRGINIA STATE) – In 17-10 loss to Arizona, Cannon did not get in on offense but made one special teams’ tackle. He got in for 12 plays on special teams (63%).
– #92 DARRYL JOHNSON JR., DE, Carolina (3rd season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – Was inactive vs. Philadelphia.
– #78 TRENT SCOTT, OL, Carolina (3rd season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – In 21-18 loss to Philadelphia, Scott was in on five plays on special teams (16%).
– #27 BOBBY PRICE, CB, Detroit (2nd season, NORFOLK STATE) – In 19-17 loss to Minnesota, Price came off the bench at defensive back and totalled one assisted tackle on defense and one tackle on special teams. He logged three plays on defense (4%) and 12 plays on special teams (46%)
– #41 ANTONIO LEVINE SR., DB, Baltimore (8th season, TENNESSEE STATE) – In 31-25 overtime win vs. Indianapolis, Levine had one special teams’ tackle. Levine was in on 23 special teams’ plays (92%).