HBCU stats leaders continue to be among the nation’s best.
HBCU Stats Leaders; Jada Byers
Virginia Union running back Jada Byers is putting up one of the greatest rushing efforts in CIAA history. With one game left in the regular season – a match up this week at rival Virginia State – Byers is on the verge of reaching several long-held marks. He should get strong consideration for the Harlon Hill Trophy that goes to the top player in Div. II football.
The 5-7, 180-pound sophomore from Hammonton, N. J. has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in seven straight games. Byers has carried the ball 237 times for 1,669 yards (7.0 yards per carry) and 18 rushing touchdowns this season. He currently has two receiving touchdowns giving him a combined 20 TDs in total. He’s averaging CIAA, NCAA Div. II and HBCU bests of 185.4 rushing yards per game.
Byers leads HBCU and Div. II players in all-purpose yards (216.78 ypg.)
He is exactly 220 yards short of equaling the single-season CIAA record of 1,889 rushing yards set by Winston-Salem State’s Richard Huntley set in 1995. He needs five more rushing touchdowns to match Livingstone’s Wilmont Perry’s league record of 23 TDs in a single season set in 1997. Former VUU star Andre Braxton holds the record for the most combined TDs in a season with 27. Braxton set that mark in 2000.
Records in reach
Bear in mind, Byers has rushed for over 100 yards in seven straight games. He surpassed 300 yards in one game (319 vs. Valdosta State on Sept. 10). He topped 200 yards on the ground in two others (277 vs. Bowie State on Oct. 15 and 205 on Oct. 8 vs. Elizabeth City State). He also had 199 rushing yards on Sept. 17 vs. Livingstone.
In other words, some of these records are reachable. It just depends on how much VUU head coach Dr. Alvin Parker decides to run him on Saturday. Byers had a season-high 40 carries (and 187 rushing yards and four TDs) in an Oct. 22 win over Lincoln (Pa.).
Chowan kept Byers out of the end zone for the first time this season. The Hawks handed VUU a 26-21 loss last week in Richmond. It was the Panthers’ (8-1, 6-1 CIAA N) first loss of the season.
HBCU Stats Leaders: Bhayshul Tuten
NC A&T sophomore Bhayshul Tuten moved up in the HBCU and FCS rushing charts with his 256-yard outing Saturday in a win over Campbell. Like Byers, it was his seventh consecutive game with over 100 rushing yards.
With that effort, the 5-9, 195-pound Tuten went over the 1,000-yard mark on the season and now has 1,032 yards through eight games. He is tenth in the FCS in yards per carry (6.88), fifth in rushing yards (1,032) and and fourth in rushing yards per game (124.0). He is only behind Byers in HBCU rushing numbers.
Fort Valley State redshirt junior Emanuel Wilson is the third member of the HBCU 1,000-yard club. Wilson is prominent in the HBCU and Div. II rushing stats. Wilson, out of Charlotte N. C. and a transfer from J. C. Smith, tops the SIAC rushing charts at 127.8 yards per game with 14 rushing TDs. His rushing stats per game are third in the HBCU ranks and ninth in Div. II.
Wilson has five games of over 100 rushing yards with a high of 262 yards (on 20 carries) in a season-opening win over Tuskegee.
Sanders in the spotlight
Jackson State sophomore quarterback Shedeur Sanders is certainly doing everything he can to win the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year Award and the Walter Payton FCS Offensive Player of the Year Award. Sanders won the Jerry Rice Award as the best freshman in the FCS a year go. His numbers are better this year.
He has led his JSU Tigers to a perfect 8-0 record. JSU currently sits atop the SWAC East Division with a 5-0 record. The Tigers stayed at fifth in the AFCA FCS Coaches Poll and ninth in the STATS Perform FCS Top 25 despite a 35-0 shutout win over Southern Saturday.
Sanders is fourth in completion percentage (.712, 228 of 320) in the FCS, second in completions per game (28.50 cpg.), fourth in passing TDs (24), fifth in passing yards (2,425), fourth in passing yards per game (303.12), tied for third in points responsible for (170) and points responsible for per game (21.2 ppg.).
Sanders puts up 322.4 yards per game in total offense that leads all HBCU performers and is fourth in the FCS.
HBCU Stats Leaders: Jackson State defense
The Jackson State defense, in a word, is dominant.
The Tigers are tops in total defense in the FCS surrendering just 194.1 yards per game. No other defense is holding opponents under 200 yards.
JSU is also No. 1 in scoring defense, giving up just 71 points (8.8 per game) on the season. They lead the FCS in passing yards allowed per game at 133.2 and are fifth in rushing defense, yielding 80.9 yards per game.
Senior linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. is one of the ringleaders of the JSU defense. The hard-hitting 6-2, 225-pounder leads all HBCU players with eight forced fumbles, third in the FCS. He leads Jackson State with 54 total tackles, 32 solos.
- NC A&T’s Tuten is fifth in all-purpose yards at 155.6 yards per game.
- Bethune-Cookman redshirt sophomore Darnell Deas is third in combined (kickoff and punt) kick return yards with 675 yards. Texas Southern freshman Chauzavia Lewis is fifth with 647 yards. Deas is tied for the FCS lead with two kickoff return TDs.
- Jackson State freshman placekicker Alejandro Mata is sixth (9 of 10, .900) and Florida A&M graduate senior Jose Romo-Martinez is seventh (14 of 16, .875) in field goal percentage.
- SC State junior linebacker B. J. Davis is tied for third in interceptions with four (.6 per game) in seven games. NC Central’s Khalil Baker and Omari Hill-Robinson of Bethune-Cookman are tied for eighth with four picks in eight games (.5 per game). Davis is sixth in passes defended at 1.6 per game.
- Hampton senior Jadakis Bonds is tied for eighth with eight receiving touchdowns.
- Florida A&M senior Xavier Smith averages 7.9 receptions per game, third in the FCS.
- Mississippi Valley State senior defensive lineman Ronnie Thomas is fifth in sacks (7 solos, 3 assists, 8.5 total) at 1.06 per game. He is also fourth in Tackles For Loss with 14.5, 1.8 per game.
- Howard junior defensive back Kenny Gallop is third in solo tackles with 48 (6.9 per game).
- In Tackles for Loss, Alabama A&M junior defensive end Zareon Hayes is second (10 solo TFL, 7 ATFL) with 13.5 (1.9 per game).
- Alabama State junior linebacker Colton Adams is tied for sixth with 83 total tackles (10.4 per game).
NCAA Div. II Leaders
- Livingstone freshman defensive back Kevin Larkins Jr. leads in interceptions with eight in eight games (1.0 per game). He is tied for seventh in passes defended (8 games, 4 PBUs, 8 ints) with 12 (1.5 per game). Chowan junior DB Kmare Carey and Virginia State junior Willie Drew are tied for eighth in passes defended with five in nine games (.6 per game).
- Benedict junior defensive end Loobert Denelus is tied for fourth in sacks with 10 (1.11 per game). Virginia Union junior DE Armonii Burden is tied for seventh with 8.0 (1.00 per game).
- Fayetteville State junior wide receiver Barry Elliott is first (23.55 ypr.) in yards per reception. Bluefield State freshman Khyon Smith is fourth (21.79) and West Virginia State junior Barry Hill is eighth (21.24).
- Edward Waters senior WR/KR Ferante Cowart is tied for first in kick return TDs with two.
HBCU Individual Stats Leaders
Thru games of October 29, 2022