North Carolina Central University senior defensive end Antonio Brown and junior safety Alden McClellon have been named to the 2017 Watch List for the Black College Football Player of the Year Award, the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced Wednesday. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University.
Brown, a 6-3, 250-pound Preseason All-MEAC First Team selection out of Jacksonville, Florida, ranked third in MEAC with 8.0 sacks and fourth with a team-high 14.5 tackles for a loss last season. He collected 56 total tackles, four pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three quarterback hurries.
McClellon, a 5-11, 190-pound Preseason All-MEAC First Team honoree from Lake Butler, Florida, finished second on the 2016 squad with 79 total tackles, including 7.5 hits for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 5 pass break-ups, 2 forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.
The winner of the 2017 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be honored with the Deacon Jones Trophy during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which takes place on Feb. 10, 2018 in Atlanta. Four finalists will be unveiled on Dec. 12.
“This is a way to recognize the tremendous talent in HBCU football today,” said Super Bowl MVP quarterback Doug Williams, a BCFHOF co-founder and 2011 inductee. “Through this Award, the Black College Football Hall of Fame is proud to showcase outstanding student-athletes.”
“The Deacon Jones Trophy has become 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.”
The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2017 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.
ABOUT THE BLACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was founded in 2009 by African-American pioneers, quarterbacks James Harris and 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 64 Inductees since inception, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees.
ABOUT DEACON JONES
David “Deacon” Jones played defensive end for South Carolina State University and Mississippi Valley State University from 1958 to 1960. Blessed with speed, agility, and quickness, the “Deacon” became one of the finest pass rushers in the business. He won unanimous All-NFL honors six straight years from 1965 through 1970 and was selected to eight Pro Bowls. Jones is an inaugural Black College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2010) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.