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Three Named to Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List

Three Named to Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on August 18, 2022

Entering his first season at TSU after transferring over former OVC foe Austin Peay, quarterback Draylen Ellis — the 2020-21 OVC Co-Freshman of the Year with Devon Starling — followed his impressive freshman campaign with a solid sophomore outing. He was ranked among the FCS leaders and led the OVC in passing touchdowns (19), passing yards (2,625), yards per completion (13.7), and total offense (268.5 ypg). Ellis became only the third Governors quarterback to record 2,500-plus passing yards in a season. He also set program records for passing yards per game (262.5) and total offense per game (268.5).

Starling followed his Co-Freshman of the Year honors by earning second-team All-OVC honors. He was injured in the next-to-last game of the year (which limited him to just 15 carries and 39 yards over the final two games) but still finished the year ranked 45th nationally with 800 total rushing yards and three touchdowns. Starling also caught 37 passes (for 312 yards) which was the most on the team, 5th most among all players in the OVC, and tied for 1st among all running backs. That mark was eighth among all FCS running backs. Against OVC champion UT Martin, he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown and caught 12 passes for 117 yards; the 12 receptions was the most of any FCS running back in a game this season.



James Green led the TSU defense with 77 total tackles (41 solo and 36 assists). He also had one sack, one interception (at Eastern Illinois), and one forced fumble/ fumble recovery (at Mississippi State). For his efforts at Eastern Illinois, Green was named the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Week. His INT against the Panthers moved TSU to the two-yard line — a return of 47 yards — which set up the first score of the contest.

"Black College Football has outstanding talent, as evidenced by the Inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl," said Super Bowl XXII MVP and BCFHOF co-founder Doug Williams.
"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."

The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2022 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.

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; and former Alabama A&M QB Aqeel Glass was the recipient of the Spring 2021 and 2021 Fall award.


SOURCE Tennesse University
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