NORFOLK, Va., July 1, 2019—The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has announced its ESPN football package for the 2019 season, which features nine regular-season match-ups on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3 and one postseason appearance on ABC. The nationally-televised games are a part of the MEAC’s ongoing partnership with ESPN.

The 15th annual MEAC/SWAC Football Challenge kicks off the first full week of the 2019 season, featuring Bethune-Cookman against Jackson State of the SWAC, which will be televised live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1. Bethune-Cookman will play in the classic for the fourth time in program history, while Jackson State will make its second appearance. The contest moved to a neutral site for the first time since 2015 last season, as it is now being played in Atlanta, Ga. at “Pete Petit Field” at Georgia State Stadium.

The ESPN3/ESPNU slate kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 26 as Delaware State travels to Greensboro, N.C. to face the defending MEAC and Celebration Bowl champion, North Carolina A&T State, at 7:30 p.m.

One week later, Morgan State will travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to face Bethune-Cookman at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. That game will stream live on ESPN3 and be televised that evening on ESPNU.

The second Thursday night contest of the season will air on Oct. 10, as Bethune-Cookman travels to North Carolina Central for a showdown which will air live on ESPNU at 6 p.m.

The MEAC returns to the airwaves in the month of November with four contests, headlined by North Carolina Central at Howard on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m., live on ESPN3 and rebroadcast that evening on ESPNU. The Aggie-Eagle Classic featuring North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T State will be played on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m., live on ESPN3 and rebroadcast later that evening on ESPNU.

The annual Florida Classic featuring Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M will be played at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla on Nov. 23. The Florida Blue Florida Classic will air live at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNEWS.

Two wildcard contests have been secured by the MEAC, one in October and one in November, featuring teams in contention for the conference title. The first wildcard contest will take place on Oct. 12, followed by the second game on Nov. 16.  Both games will stream live on ESPN3 and be televised that evening on ESPNU.

The fifth annual Celebration Bowl wraps up the season as the MEAC champion will square off against the SWAC champion on Saturday, Dec. 21 in Atlanta, Ga. at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The contest will air live on ABC at 12 p.m.



Sunday, Sept. 1 · 3 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman vs. Jackson State (MEAC/SWAC Challenge)
Live on ESPN2

Thursday, Sept. 26 · 7:30 p.m.
Delaware State at North Carolina A&T State
Live on ESPNU

Saturday, Oct. 5 · 4 p.m.
Morgan State at Bethune-Cookman
Live on ESPN3/Televised later on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 10 · 6 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina Central
Live on ESPNU

Saturday, Oct. 12 · TBA
MEAC Wildcard #1
Live on ESPN3/Televised later on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 2 · 1 p.m.
North Carolina Central at Howard
Live on ESPN3/Televised later on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 16 · TBA
MEAC Wildcard #2
Live on ESPN3/Televised later on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23 · 1 p.m.
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T State (Aggie-Eagle Classic)
Live on ESPN3/Televised later on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23 · 3:30 p.m.
Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman (Florida Blue Florida Classic)

Saturday, Dec. 21 · 12 p.m.
MEAC Champion vs. SWAC Champion (Celebration Bowl)
Live on ABC


Please be advised that all games scheduled to be televised later are subjected to change.

About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) begins its 49th year of intercollegiate competition with the 2019-20 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.

SWAC Announces 2019 ESPN Football Schedule

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced the upcoming ESPN line-up for the 2019 season highlighted by a total of 13 games that will be featured across ESPN’s networks.

“When we began scheduling the upcoming lineup of ESPN games we sought match-ups that would give viewers and the average fan that may not get to attend our games a strong representation of our brand of football,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

“This upcoming slate of games highlights several annual classics, traditional conference rivalries, and matchups that feature teams that played highly competitive games last season, while also providing viewers a unique look at the excitement and pageantry found on display any given day at a SWAC football game,” added McClelland.

“Overall the relationship we have with ESPN along with this 2019 lineup games, provides our league with national exposure, marketing, brand recognition, and visibility that will be on par with many of the football conferences at the FBS level.”

ESPN’s season coverage of the SWAC will begin on Saturday, August 31, with the Labor Day Classic as Prairie View A&M travels to face rival Texas Southern at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

The 2019 edition of the Celebration Bowl which features the champions of the MEAC and SWAC will once again bring a fitting close to the national broadcast schedule for the league on December 21 at 12:00 pm EST on ABC at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

A full listing of the upcoming lineup of games set for broadcast on ESPN can be found below.

August 31 5:30 pm Prairie View A&M at Texas Southern ESPN3 (5:30 pm live) ESPNU (*9:30 pm tape delay)
September 1 2:00 pm Bethune-Cookman vs. Jackson State ESPN2 (2:00 pm live)
September 21 5:00 pm Prairie View A&M at Alcorn State ESPN3 (5:00 pm live) ESPNU (*9:30 pm tape delay)
September 28 6:00 pm Southern at Arkansas-Pine Bluff ESPN3 (6:00 pm live)
October 5 6:00 pm Grambling State at Jackson State ESPN3 (6:00 pm live)
October 12 6:00 pm Prairie View A&M at Southern ESPN3 (6:00 pm live)
October 19 2:00 pm Jackson State at Mississippi Valley State ESPN3 (2:00 pm live) ESPNU (*12:15 am tape delay)
October 24 6:30 pm Jackson State at Prairie View A&M ESPNU (6:30 pm live)
October 26 2:30 pm Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State ESPN3 (2:30 pm live) ESPNU (*9:30 pm tape delay)
November 2 4:00 pm Alabama A&M at Southern ESPN3 (4:00 pm live)
November 9 2:00 pm Alcorn State at Grambling State ESPN3 (2:00 pm live) ESPNU (*9:30 pm tape delay)
November 23 2:00 pm Alcorn State at Jackson State ESPN3 (2:00 pm live)
December 7 3:00 pm 2019 SWAC Football Championship ESPNU (3:00 pm live)

*ESPNU tape delay times are subject to change

All games will be available on the ESPN App 

About the SWAC:  
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.

Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis.

Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.

Follow the SWAC
For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at

Tarik Cohen, Darius Leonard… is Darryl Johnson up next?

Why Darryl Johnson is ready to be the NFL’s next HBCU sensation.

By Will Dean
June 18, 2019

ATLANTA – With OTA’s and Mini Camps in the rearview mirror and NFL Training Camps across
the country fast approaching, former North Carolina A&T defensive end and two-time
Celebration Bowl Champion Darryl Johnson is prepping for a breakout rookie season with the
Buffalo Bills. In addition to being a part of two consecutive Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl
winning teams, Johnson added a Defensive Player of the Year award and a nomination for
Black College Football Player of the Year to his long list of accolades in the 2018/19 season.

So how does Johnson plan to translate his success in the college game to a career in the NFL?

In an exclusive interview with The Undefeated’s Mark W. Wright, Johnson emphasized the
importance of setting goals. He remembers telling coaches and media about his plans to lead
the MEAC in sacks, make first-team all-conference, and win Defensive Player of the Year.
Johnson accomplished each of these goals in his standout junior season, and now he has
similarly lofty goals for his rookie season in the NFL. “I want my name to be right there as a guy
who left A&T early, went to the NFL, and being (in the) Rookie of the Year conversation”.

Johnson cites Chicago Bears running back and 2015 Celebration Bowl Offensive MVP Tarik
Cohen along with Indianapolis Colts linebacker and 2017 MEAC SWAC Challenge Defensive
MVP Darius Leonard as key role models for himself and other aspiring NFL Players who
choose to attend Historically Black Colleges & Universities. “When guys like Tarik and Darius
win, we all win — and it’s nice to see the NFL Players Association recognize that by selecting
them as the 2019 recipients of the Black College Football Pro Players of the Year.”

Fascinatingly, in his senior year of high school Johnson almost found himself without any
options at all. According to Nate Mendelson of the Buffalo Bills, Johnson suffered an injury his
senior year that scared off most Division I college football programs. By signing day, North
Carolina A&T was the only scholarship offer still on the table.

“Man, without A&T, I really don’t know where I’d be right now,” Johnson said. “I’d be in college
somewhere, but I probably wouldn’t be playing football.”

Johnson promised to repay North Carolina A&T’s trust in him, and with all the aforementioned
accolades in mind, it’s fair to say the university’s investment in Darryl Johnson was met with
more than a healthy return. Now Johnson is taking that same grit and perennial chip on his
shoulder to the NFL.

After making all the college scouts who lost interest in him look silly by taking off at A&T,
Johnson faces a new set of doubters at the next level. In spite of all his accomplishments,
some NFL scouts expressed concerns over his size and strength, as he slipped into the
seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. But Johnson points towards a couple of other undersized
and underrated HBCU stars who proved all their “haters” wrong:

“I know the [NFL] scouts will label me as small and below average in size for a defensive end
(at 6-5, 232 pounds) they told that to Tarik Cohen (and) Darius Leonard too…”

With each of these “undersized” HBCU alumni receiving Pro Bowl and Defensive Rookie of the
Year honors respectively last year, Darryl Johnson feels he is primed to follow in their footsteps.
The Buffalo Bills will hope that Johnson can do just that, by replicating his odds-defying
production and extending his cinderella story at the NFL level. At this point, don’t bet against it.



The superstar uplifts HBCU culture — and her own journeys home

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival – Weekend 1 – Day 2
Beyonce performs onstage during the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 in Indio, California, on April 14, 2018. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella


April 17, 2019

Beyonce, yet again, has gifted us all.

This time, she’s bringing a culture that’s so very important to African Americans to a global, mainstream stage. Her latest present is a Netflix documentary, Homecoming (streaming now), and it’s a dive into the inspiration for her game-changing 2018 Coachella performance.

Beyonce not only takes us behind the scenes of the making of that particular set of shows, she takes us home with her. We see her at her most vulnerable: dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, figuring out how to be a mother of a 6-year-old and a set of newborn twins, as well as a wife, and an international superstar who is ready to come back home. Home, for Beyonce, is the stage. Her film’s title is a double entendre, as Beyonce plays to actually coming home to the live stage and to the rich tradition of historically black college and university (HBCU) halftime culture as she brings it to a festival that was stridently white until recently.

Beyonce was the festival’s first African American female headliner — “Ain’t that about a b—-?” she sneers at one point — and in 2018 she collaborated with her team to craft a show that would show the world something that those of us who grew up in Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Hampton, Virginia, were quite familiar with.

Interwoven with footage of the Coachella concert are homemade, never-before-seen rehearsal videos of the creation of one of the greatest shows to grace a festival stage, with Beyonce sharing insights about her body, her babies and her home life. The day she delivered babies Rumi and Sir via an emergency cesarean section, she topped out at 218 pounds. And Coachella was months away.It’s about the never forgetting. It’s about making sure that everyone is connected and educated and inspired by African American culture.


From there, she takes us on a journey: hitting SoulCycle hard, yes, but also dance rehearsals and other work that helped her burn up to 2,000 calories a day while cutting carbs, dairy, meat, sugar and alcohol from her life. Her discipline is to be as marveled at as the final product: Beychella.

We see the moment she’s able to fit back into a revealing costume — she FaceTimes her husband, Jay-Z, and revels in the accomplishment. It’s one of the very human moments in the film, reminding us that the woman we’ve crowned a deity is actually, well, one of us.


Yep. She shares her breakneck schedule, the breastfeeding, the babies, the meetings with her team, the sheer perfectionist that she is while working on something as important as this show, which will both introduce a culture and give visibility to those who feel unseen by the world at large.

Beyonce, who directs and produces this film, flashes inspirational go-get-’em quotes from dignitaries such as Alice Walker and Marian Wright Edelman, all of them esteemed HBCU grads. She sees us — sees black folks, and black women specifically. In her show, we see black women with various body types; big girls move in bright leotards, and she says in a voice-over that she wants the world to see our curves. Beyonce’s father, of course, is an HBCU alum, and she talks about growing up with and being inspired by battle-of-the-band performances.

Perhaps the most significant moment of this documentary is near the end. The Carters’ daughter Blue Ivy is standing next to her mother, swaying side to side and singing the words of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Her mother had sung the song earlier in the show. At times, Blue Ivy couldn’t quite remember the words, and her mother would lean over and whisper them in her ear. When Blue Ivy gets to the end of the song, she excitedly tells her mother that she wants to sing it again.Beyonce is a human being? Yep.

And that is what this whole experience is about.

It’s about never forgetting. It’s about making sure that everyone is connected and educated and inspired by African American culture. On a global stage. Across generations.

And, of course, it’s about getting to see one of the world’s most dynamic performers at her most authentic and open and at her very best. In one of her closing voice-overs, she says, “If my country a– can do it …,” anyone can.

That’s motivating. And inspiring. But respectfully, I beg to differ. Because we might never see anything — or anyone — like this again.

Tarik Cohen and Darius Leonard Named 2018 Black College Football Pro Players of the Year

Atlanta, GA (February 13, 2019) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced today that Chicago Bears running back and return specialist Tarik Cohen and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard have been named recipients of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award, Presented by the NFLPA. The Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player from a Historically Black College and University. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea was selected as the inaugural recipient in 2017.

Cohen attended North Carolina A&T State University, from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2017. During the 2018 season, Cohen rushed for 444 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had 71 catches for 725 yards and five touchdowns, along with a league-leading 411 punt return yards. He was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl roster and First Team All-Pro as a return specialist.

The 6-foot-2, 234-pound Leonard played for Coach Buddy Pough at South Carolina State University, and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He finished his rookie season with 163 combined tackles (111 solo), eight pass deflections, seven sacks and one interception. His 163 tackles led the NFL and broke the Colts’ franchise record. Leonard was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl.

The formal presentation of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award will be made at the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on February 16, 2019.

“This award was established to shine a light on the immense talent of current Black College Football players at the highest level,” said James “Shack” Harris, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2012 inductee.

The Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award was voted on by a Selection Committee, composed of media members D. Orlando Ledbetter (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Jay Walker (ESPN), John Williams (The Undefeated) and Steve Wyche (NFL Network); NFL front office members Doug Williams (Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel) and former NFL scout Charles Bailey.

“Today, there are about 30 players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities on active NFL rosters,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director. “Some of the best players in NFL history are from HBCUs, and it’s exciting to honor today’s stars.”

The 2019 Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by the Atlanta Falcons, takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame on February 16. The 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year will also be announced during the Ceremony. Tickets and sponsorships are still available at

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees and Selection Committee, we congratulate Tarik and Darius on this historic accomplishment,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “These men are great role models and an inspiration for youth across the country.”

About the NFLPA

“We, The National Football League Players Association … Pay homage to our predecessors for their courage, sacrifice, and vision; … Pledge to preserve and enhance the democratic involvement of our members; … Confirm our willingness to do whatever is necessary for the betterment of our membership — To preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained.”

About Black College Football Hall of Fame

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October of 2009 by African-American pioneers and quarterbacks, Pro Bowl MVP James “Shack” Harris and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There have been 70 Inductees since inception, including Mel BlountJames HarrisWillie LanierArt Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees.

Air Force Reserve Returns as Title Sponsor of the 2018 Celebration Bowl

By Master Sgt. James Branch, 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs / Published December 19, 2018

ATLANTA — After a year break, the Air Force Reserve returned as the title sponsor of the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, the championship game for Historically Black College and University football.

The North Carolina A&T State University Aggies, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions, took on the Alcon State Braves, Southwestern Athletic Conference champions Dec. 15 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The game marked the first time the two teams met since they battled each other in 2015, at the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

John Grant, Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl executive director, expressed his gratitude on behalf of ESPN Events to the Air Force Reserve for joining the Bowl Committee as this year’s sponsor, and stated its commitment is vital to the success of the event.

“The theme of this year’s Celebration Bowl is all about the celebration of service,” he said. “Partnering with the Air Force Reserve allows us to truly honor and commemorate those who volunteer and serve to protect our communities and country”

In addition to increasing its brand recognition to a broad national audience, the Air Force Reserve seized the opportunity to highlight its many education and career benefits, and showcase the nearly 74,000 Citizen Airmen who are part of the communities they serve. They study in colleges and universities, support local community programs, maintain civilian careers, and make an impact each and every day.

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, believes it’s incredibly significant the Air Force Reserve uses the Celebration Bowl platform to honor and promote its legacy of culture and diversity.

“Diversity takes on all forms, whether it’s ethnicity, gender, or thought,” he said. “The fusion of varied cultures creates a strong military that can respond whenever America needs us. Serving our country is important, and exciting. The more we can get that word out, the better the Air Force Reserve will be.”

Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, AFRC command chief, said coming back as the title sponsor after a year off re-affirms Air Force Reserve’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“For me, the chance to showcase the Reserve to college students who are looking for advancement opportunities is beyond words,” she said. “Being a woman from the Hispanic community, I can testify to the opportunities the Air Force Reserve offers.”

Scobee flipped the coin, and the Aggies received the first kick-off, and put the first touchdown score of the game on the board in just three downs. The Braves trailed them for the entire game, with a half time score of 17-6. Although they scored 18 points in the second half of the game, they would never catch up, and the Aggies won 24-22, becoming the 2018 National HBCU football champions.

Scobee presented the Championship Trophy to Sam Washington, N.C. A&T head coach, Richie Kittle, Defensive MVP with nine tackles, and Lamar Richard, Offensive MVP with 292 passing yards and two touchdowns.

During the postgame press conference, Richard, a senior, said it felt good win the championship, and go out on top. He thanked the Air Force Reserve, bowl committee, and the city of Atlanta.

Commercials and announcements throughout the game highlighted the many opportunities the Air Force Reserve offers to individuals who want to serve their country part-time while pursuing an education or advancing their civilian career.

“The Air Force Reserve is more than proud to once again sponsor the premier college bowl game of the season,” said Col. Timothy H. Martz, Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service commander. “Although the game is a vehicle for us to reach a number of demographics, the event is beyond recruiting for us. It gives AFRC the ability to leave a positive impression on not only HBCUs but the entire country.”

According to Meltwater Media Monitoring Service, the sponsorship garnered nearly $127 million in advertising value equivalent and recorded nearly 13.7 billion positive impressions through television broadcasting and print and online media reporting in addition to nearly 32,500 fans reached in the Mercedes Benz stadium during the game.

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.

Historic Bethel House in Smithfield Receives New Mural

Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
For The Birmingham Times

Black Greek letter organizations, ESPN cable network and Behr Paint recently collaborated to bring a new mural to Bethel House, a landmark of the Smithfield Community.

“The Bethel House is an historical site inside the Smithfield area,” said Cory Pettway, who works for District 5 Birmingham Councilor Darrell O’Quinn. “It is used as the community center now, not only for the Smithfield Court housing community but also the (entire) Smithfield area.”

Pettway said the councilman received an email from Behr Paint asking for a project that could be done in Smithfield. Bethel House was the obvious choice, he said.

“It’s also very important because it sits on the main thoroughfare – Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard.  We know a lot of traffic goes through here daily.”

Michael Lundy,  president and CEO of the Housing Authority Birmingham District (HABD), said Smithfield Court was built in 1935 and is the oldest public housing community in Alabama.

“We’re going to preserve all the architectural features and we’re going to go back to a terracotta roof on here,” Lundy said of Bethel House, which serves as a community center for the entire area. “We’re going to put terracotta roofs back here to bring back the original design of the property.

“This is our oldest property and has historical significance because this is the center of the community,” he said. “To do an updated mural for this building I think is really going to be appreciated.”

John Grant, executive director of Celebration Bowl with ESPN, said the project is a reflection of presenting art in community. “Art has transformative effects,” he said. “We unfortunately in our school system are working hard to take art out of community.

“But art is what preserves culture and it interprets culture,” Grant said. “This project, in this community – street-facing – is going to have a transformative impact on the kids . . . and the people in this community.

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi fraternities and Sigma Gamma Rho sorority applied the primer on the front of the building. Devonte Holt, an artist from the Ensley, Green Acres and Central Park areas, used their bricks and doors that they painted white to create a mural to replace one that had adorned the building for many years.

The new mural, which Holt completed around Magic City Classic weekend, expresses the same things as the last mural – community, education and arts.

“We’re just making this mural bigger and brighter, and basically making it bolder,” the artist said. “When people see it, they’re ecstatic about it. They’re happy to see it and they’re motivated by the colors and everything that’s in the mural.”

Christopher Brooks, Alabama state representative for Omega Psi Phi fraternity, said this is one of many projects black fraternities and sororities partner.

“Every community that we go in as an organization, we’re here to make it better,” he said. “We go into the communities and just do the work.”

Cynthia Eubanks, executive director of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, said it feels good to work with other Greek letter organizations.

“As a collaborative effort as black Greek letter organizations, we always believe in servicing our community,” she said. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to participate.”

Taj Warren, a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and president of the schools’s Iota Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, said their efforts shed light on a positive side of Birmingham.

“This is all that we want to do,” he said. “Greek unity is the main goal for all black Greek organizations.”



November 1, 2018 (Atlanta, GA) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its 10th Class today – the Class of 2019. Seven inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.

The Class of 2019 includes Emerson Boozer (Maryland Eastern Shore), Hugh Douglas (Central State), Rich “Tombstone” Jackson (Southern), Frank Lewis (Grambling State), Timmy Newsome (Winston-Salem State), John Taylor (Delaware State) as player inductees, and Coach Arnett “Ace” Mumford (Jarvis Christian College, Bishop College, Texas College and Southern University).

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we congratulate the Class of 2019,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “To be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in its first 10 years is quite an honor. Just take a look at those historical names.”

Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the Inductees.

The Class of 2019 will be honored at the 10th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 16, 2019. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Inductees will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 15th. For more information please visit




Running Back … University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1962-1965) … Two-time First Team All-American … SWAC Hall of Fame … Selected by the New York Jets in 6th round of the 1966 AFL Draft … Also selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 7th round of the 1966 NFL Draft … Jets (1966-1975) … 10 seasons … Two-time AFL All-Star … All-AFL (1967) … Led league in rushing touchdowns (1967) … Won an AFL Championship (1968) and Super Bowl III … Member of the New York Jets Ring of Honor and the College Football Hall of Fame … Born July 4, 1943 in Augusta, Georgia.



Defensive End … Central State University (1992-1994) … A two-time NAIA Division I All-American … Made 42 sacks in 32 games in a three-year collegiate career … Led his team to an NAIA national championship in 1993 … Selected by the New York Jets with the 16th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft … NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1995) … Jets (1995-1997) … Philadelphia Eagles (1998-2002; 2004) … Jacksonville Jaguars (2003) … Three-time Pro Bowl Selection … Two-time First Team All-Pro … Born on August 23, 1971 in Mansfield, Ohio.



Defensive End … Southern University (1962-1965) … Was a standout on both sides of the football and on the track team, where he won the NAIA Shot-Put competition in 1962 … Still holds the Louisiana collegiate record for Shot-Put (58’ 1”) … Undrafted free agent … Oakland Raiders (1966) … Denver Broncos (1967-1972) … Cleveland Browns (1972) … Seven seasons … Three-time Pro Bowl Selection … Three-time First Team All-Pro … Finished career as the Broncos all-time leader in sacks … Inaugural member of the Broncos Ring of Fame … Born July 22, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana.



Wide Receiver … Grambling State University (1967-1970) … Helped Grambling to the 1968 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title … In 1969, led Grambling in rushing and receiving yards … Scored 42 total touchdowns in college … Three-time All-SWAC at receiver … Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1st Round of the 1971 NFL Draft (8th overall pick) … Steelers (1971-1977) … Buffalo Bills (1978-1983) … 13 seasons … Pro Bowl selection (1981) … Two-time Super Bowl Champion … Born July 4, 1947 in Houma, Louisiana.



Running Back … Winston-Salem State University (1976-1979) … Led the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in rushing and scoring three seasons … Three-time CIAA Offensive Player of the Year … Two-time Division II All-American … Under head coach Bill Hayes, Newsome led the Rams to undefeated seasons in 1978 and 1979 … Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th Round of the 1980 NFL Draft … Cowboys (1980-1988) … CIAA Hall of Fame … Winston-Salem State University Athletic Hall of Fame … Born May 17, 1958 in Ahoskie, North Carolina.



Wide Receiver … Delaware State University (1983-1985) … Scored 42 touchdowns at Delaware State, including 15 his senior season, both Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) records … Holds MEAC record for most career points (254) … MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1985 … Selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd Round of the 1986 NFL Draft … 49ers (1987-1995) … Two-time Pro Bowl Selection … Three-time Super Bowl Champion … NFL 1980s All-Decade Team … Delaware Sports Hall of Fame … Born March 31, 1962 in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey.



Jarvis Christian College (1924-1926), Bishop College (1927-1929), Texas College (1931-1935), Southern University (1936-1961) … Led the Southern Jaguars football team to five black national championships … All-time winningest football coach at Southern … Won or shared 11 SWAC Championships at Southern … Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 … Also coached Southern to the 1941 black national championship in basketball … Retired with a record of 195-104-2 … Born November 26, 1898 in Buckhannon, West Virginia … Died April 28, 1962.




About the Black College Football Hall of Fame
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October 2009 to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Its trustees are football legends Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.