Black College Football Hall of Fame Announces 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Finalists

At a glance:

  • Four Finalists have been selected from a Watch List comprised of over 50 players.
  • The Finalists will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia on February 16, 2019.
  • The winner will be announced during the Induction Ceremony and presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy.

Atlanta, GA (November 29, 2018) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced today four Finalists for the Black College Football Player of the Year Award. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) that embodies the rich tradition of athletic excellence and integrity associated with HBCUs. Former North Carolina A&T State University, and current Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen was the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2016, and Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall was selected as the recipient in 2017.

The 2018 Finalists include QB Amir Hall (Bowie State University), DL Darryl Johnson (North Carolina A&T State University), QB Noah Johnson (Alcorn State University) and QB Caylin Newton (Howard University).

The Finalists were chosen by a five-member Selection Committee, which is composed of Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, longtime SBN Broadcaster and Director of News and Sports for the Power News Radio Network Ty Miller, former USA Today sports writer Roscoe Nance, and ESPN College Football Analyst Jay Walker.

“The Black College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the immense talent of our HBCU student-athletes today,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “Each finalist has had an incredible season and we are excited to celebrate their success.”

The winner of the 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on February 16, 2019 at the 10th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy, named in honor of the football legend and inaugural BCFHOF inductee.

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees, we congratulate the Black College Football Player of the Year Finalists,” said James “Shack” Harris, Co-Founder and 2012 Inductee. “These student-athletes represent the very best of HBCU football.”

The Finalists will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 15th, along with the BCFHOF Class of 2019, which will be televised on ABC.

 

2018 Finalists

Amir Hall

Quarterback … Bowie State University … Senior … 2018 CIAA Offensive Player of the Year … Three-time 1st Team All-CIAA … Led conference in passing yards (4,152), passing touchdowns (31) and total offense (4,597) … Also had 445 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns … The CIAA’s all-time career passing touchdown leader (102) and all-time career passing yards leader (11,358) … Candidate for The Harlon Hill Award (Division II College Football Player of the Year) … 2017 Black College Football Player of the Year (Deacon Jones Trophy).

Darryl Johnson, Jr.

Defensive End … North Carolina A&T State University … Junior … Two-time 1st Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) … Led MEAC in sacks (10.5) and tackles-for-loss (18.5) … Had 47 total tackles and three pass breakups in 2018 … His 18.5 TFL ranked #10 nationally in FCS Football … In season-opening upset victory over nationally ranked Jacksonville State, Johnson’s strip sack sealed the game for the Aggies … Finalist the Buck Buchanan Award for FCS Defensive Player of the Year … Named to 2017 AFCA and BoxToRow All-American Teams.

 

 

 

Noah Johnson

Quarterback … Alcorn State University … Sophomore … Led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in passing efficiency (137.7) and completion percentage (63.4), and #2 in total offense (2,757) … Ranked #5 in SWAC in rushing yards (813) and touchdowns (7) … Led Alcorn State to East Division title and the SWAC Championship game … Led Alcorn’s offense to #1 in the SWAC in yards per game (471.3) … Finalist the Walter Payton Award for FCS Offensive Player of the Year … Finalist for the Cspire Conerly Award as the top collegiate player in Mississippi.

Caylin Newton

Quarterback … Howard University … Sophomore … 1st Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) … Led MEAC in passing yards (2,629), passing touchdowns (22) and total offense (3,133 yards), and ranked #2 in efficiency (136.7) … Ranked #7 nationally in FCS Football in total offense … Added 504 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns … Led Howard’s offense to #1 in the MEAC in points per game (33.6) and yards per game (470.8) … Finalist the Walter Payton Award for FCS Offensive Player of the Year.

Alcorn State University Heads to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl for the Second Time

ATLANTA – The second invitation to the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl – to be played on Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and aired live on ABC – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion, Alcorn State University. The Alcorn Braves defeated the Southern Jaguars 38-27 in Saturday’s SWAC Championship Game.  Executive Director of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site in Lorman and presented Alcorn State University Coach Fred McNair with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Alcorn State for punching their ticket to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl,” said Grant. “We are excited for the Braves to join us in this championship matchup against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.”

The Braves, after winning their fifth consecutive SWAC West division title, were able to secure their spot in Atlanta by defeating Southern University in the SWAC Championship game.  North Carolina A&T comes into the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl with a record of 9-2 after winning last year’s coveted Celebration Bowl trophy for the second time in three years.

Entering its fourth year, the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game and celebrates the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It is a championship-style game between the MEAC and SWAC champions and will be televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to organize the game’s ancillary events which include a youth symposium, robotics showcase, gospel night, fan experience and more. The MEAC leads the overall Celebration Bowl series 2-1 after three years. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural game in 2015. In 2016, Grambling State defeated North Carolina Central 10-9.  As in previous years, last year’s Celebration Bowl was a tight battle with North Carolina A&T beating Grambling State 21-14.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $155 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $110/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $97/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $105/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Air Force Reserve

There are many exciting part-time Air Force Reserve jobs which allow Reserve Citizen Airmen to advance their civilian careers or continue their educations while serving close to home. College Tuition Assistance and signing bonuses up to $20,000 are available for specific jobs. Go to AFReserve.com or call 800-257-1212 for more information on how you can Start Your Adventure with the Air Force Reserve.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 32 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Myrtle Beach BowlNew Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  SoFi Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

###

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com