11 CIAA Student-Athletes Recognized on the 2023 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List

By: The CIAA

Atlanta, GA (August 15, 2023) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced today the 2023 Watch List 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 and University. Former North Carolina A&T and NFL running back Tarik Cohen was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2016; Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall was the 2017 and 2018 recipient; former Tennessee State and NFL WR Chris Rowland was the 2019 recipient; former Alabama A&M QB Aqeel Glass was the recipient in the Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 seasons; and former Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders was the 2022 winner of the Award.

Four finalists will be unveiled after the season. The winner of the Black College Football Player of the Year Award, which will be announced during halftime of the 2024 Allstate HBCU Legacy Bowl, will be presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy. The Allstate HBCU Legacy Bowl takes place on Saturday, February 24, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The game will be broadcast live on NFL Network.

“The Black College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the immense talent of our HBCU players today,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “These student-athletes represent the very best of HBCU football.”

The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list will be made as the 2023 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.

“The Deacon Jones Trophy is the most prestigious football award for HBCUs,” said BCFHOF co-founder and 2012 inductee James Harris. “Deacon Jones was a pioneer and an icon, and still to this day represents the very best of Black College Football.”

2023 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List

ColtonAdamsGSLBAlabama StateSWAC
TerrellAllenSrDLTennessee StateOVC
Isaac AndersonR. JrDL Virginia UnionCIAA
AndrewBodyJrQBTexas SouthernSWAC
JadaByersJrRBVirginia UnionCIAA
KentrellCaldwellSoLBFayetteville StateCIAA
BrevinCaldwellSoWRJohnson C SmithCIAA
WillieDrewGSDBVirginia StateCIAA
KelvinDurhamR. FrQBFort Valley StateSIAC
DonovanEaglinJrRBAlabama A&MSWAC
CorinthiusEdmondsGSWRFort Valley StateSIAC
DraylenEllisSrQBTennessee StateOVC
MatthewFosterSrOLVirginia StateCIAA
IsaiahFreemanSoQB Lincoln (PA)CIAA
MarquisGillisR. SoRBDelaware StateMEAC
PatrickGodboltGSDLSouth Carolina StateMEAC
KeshaneHinckleyR. SrWRBowie StateCIAA
JarveonHowardR. SrRBAlcornSWAC
CameronMerrellR. JrDLFayetteville StateCIAA
Jae’VeyonMortonGSDBMorgan StateMEAC
DerekMortonR. SrWRTexas SouthernSWAC
JoshSimonSrOLAlbany StateSIAC
TorricelliSimpkins IIIJrCNCCUMEAC
AaronSmithSrLBSouth Carolina StateMEAC
GentrySparksJrTEFort Valley StateSIAC
D.J.StevensGSTEJackson StateSWAC
JareeTurnerJrDBAlbany StateSIAC
Devin VersteegenJrKShawCIAA

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