Four players vied for player of the week defensive honors in this week’s HBCU NFL Report.
Philadelphia tackle Javon Hargrave out of SC State was his usual dominant self. Washington’s veteran defensive back and special teamer Danny Johnson of Southern also stepped up big. They were the veterans in consideration.
Former Fayetteville State defensive back Joshua Williams of Kansas City continued his steady play. Former Jackson State edge rusher James Houston IV with Detroit had another splash play. They were rookies under consideration.
HBCU NFL Report: Johnson takes the cake
In the Commanders’ 20-20 tie with the New York Giants, Johnson had six solo tackles, one takedown sack of Giants’ QB Daniel Jones and defended two passes. The sack, off a corner blitz, was the first of the season and of his career for the 5-9, 190-pound cornerback.
Johnson, who has played and excelled mostly on special teams, also posted his first career interception earlier in the season.
HBCU NFL Report: The other defenders
Hargrave also had a sack among three total tackles in the Eagles 35-10 win over Tennessee. See video of the sack here.
It was Hargrave’s eighth sack of the season. He is currently tied for 16th in the NFL in sacks. He trails only Kansas City’s Chris Jones (10.0) and Washington’s Daron Payne (8.5) among sacks by defensive tackles.
Houston, on the Lions active roster for the first time this season, showed explosiveness again as he appeared shot out of a cannon in twisting down Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence for a sack. It was his third sack in two games in Detroit’s 40-14 win over Jacksonville. See the sack here.
Williams had seven total tackles in a 27-24 loss to Cincinnati.
HBCU NFL Report
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of December 1 – 5, 2022
– #36 DANNY JOHNSON, DB, Washington, (5th season, SOUTHERN) – In 20-20 with the New York Giants, Johnson had six solo tackles on defense, one sack off a corner blitz for -2 yards and two passes defended. Johnson was in on 30 (45%) of the defensive snaps and five (15%) snaps on special teams.
– #60 NICK LEVERETT, OL, Tampa Bay (2nd season, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL) – Started at left guard in Bucs 17-16 win over New Orleans. The Bucs’ rushed for 76 yards and passed for 281 yards with two TDs while giving up one sack. Leverett was in on all 80 offensive plays (100%) and three (11%) plays on special teams.
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (6th season, ALBANY STATE) – Started at nose tackle in 54-19 loss to Dallas Sunday night and finished with five total tackles, two solos and three assists and blocked a field goal attempt. Stewart was in on 48 (71%) of the defensive plays and and 10 plays (32%) of special teams’ plays.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
– #71 TYTUS HOWARD, OT, Houston (4th season, ALABAMA STATE – Howard started at right tackle in 27-14 loss to Clevelant. The Texans rushed for 82 yards and passed for 203 yards and one TD. The Texans offensive line gave up no sacks. Howard played all 65 (100%) offensive plays and two (6%) of the plays on special teams..
– #12 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Atlanta (6th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Hodge was targeted twice without a catch in 19-16 loss to Pittsburgh. Hodge had one solo tackle on special teams playing six (11%) of the Falcons’ offensive plays and 16 (64%) of the special teams’ plays.
– #78 TRENT SCOTT, OT, Pittsburgh (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 19-16 win over Atlanta, Scott got in for seven plays (11%) and one (4%) on special teams.
– # JA’TYRE CARTER, OL, Chicago (1st season, SOUTHERN) – Carter was not active in 28-19 loss to Green Bay.
– #23 JOSHUA WILLIAMS, DB, Kansas City (1st season, FAYETTEVILLE STATE) – Williams started at defensive back in the Chiefs’ 27-24 loss to Cincinnati and had seven total tackles, six solos and one assist. Williams logged 66 (92%) of the defensive plays and 10 (43%) of the special teams’ plays.
– # 59 JAMES HOUSTON, OLB, Detroit (1st season, JACKSON STATE) – Houston had one solo tackle, a third sack in two games for -9 yards, and a hit on the QB in Lions’ 40-14 win over Jacksonville. He played just 12 (21%) of the defensive snaps and 16 (62%) snaps on special teams.
– #97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Started at defensive tackle in 35-10 win over Tennessee and finished with three total tackles, one sack for -5 yards and one assist. Hargrave was in on 28 (51%) of the defensive snaps.
– #56 QUENTIN BELL, OLB, Atlanta (2nd season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Had one solo tackle on defense in 19-16 loss to Pittsburgh. Bell was in on 18 (28%) defensive plays and six (24%) on special teams.
– #14 DECOBIE DURANT, DB, LA Rams (1st season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 27-23 loss to Seattle, Durant had one solo tackle and one pass defended. He played on 27 (40%) defensive snaps and eleven (40%) on special teams.
– #41 MARKQUESE BELL, DB, Dallas (1st season, FLORIDA A&M) – Bell was not active in 54-19 win over Indianapolis.
– #47 DESHAUN DIXON, LB, Jacksonville (1st season, NORFOLK STATE) – Dixon was inactive in 40-14 loss to Detroit.
– #45 JOE THOMAS, LB, Chicago (8th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Thomas had one solo tackle on special teams in 28-19 loss to Green Bay. He played 18 plays (75%) on special teams.
– #7 JAMIE GILLAN, P, NY Giants (5th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – In 20-20 tie with Washington, Gillan punted seven times for 324 yards. He averaged 46.3-yards per punt with a net of 42.6 yards. Gillan had three punts downed inside the 20. He had a long punt of 59 yards. He was in on 12 (35%) of the special teams’ plays.