The 2021 STATS FCS Preseason All-America Team contains a handful of HBCU players, with the bulk of the talent on defense.
North Carolina A&T senior running back Jah-Maine Martin highlights the Big South contingent, earning First Team honors on offense. He is joined on the First Team by Buck Buchanan Award winner Jordan Lewis of Southern and Florida A&M defensive back Markquese Bell.
Martin Martin rushed for 1,446 yards and 23 touchdowns on 187 carries in 2019 and was named to the All-MEAC First Team.
Also read: The 2021 preseason HBCU Sports Ultimate Football Poll features a familiar squad at the top
Bell, a community college transfer, is coming off a 2019 season in which he made 63 tackles, including four for a loss, broke up nine passes and snagged five interceptions.
Three Black college football standouts — Antonio Zita (Tennessee State), Tyrin Ralph (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Decobie Durant (South Carolina State) round out Second Team selections.
Zita converted 14 field goals last year, including, five from 50 yards and a 62-yard blast against Eastern Illinois, the longest of the 2021 season at all levels.
Ralph, the UAPB speedster, lead the SWAC and was third in the FCS in all-purpose yards with 727 yards, second in combined kick returns (461 yards), and led the SWAC in punt return yards
Durant, an All-MEAC First Team performer and Boxtorow All-American selection, led the Bulldogs during the spring with four interceptions, eight tackles and five breakups.
Florida A&M wide receiver Xavier Smith and Jackson State linebacker Keonte Hampton were named to the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America Third Team.
Smith tallied 77 receptions,1,159, and 11 touchdowns yards in 2019 for the Rattlers while Hampton notched a team-high 58 tackles over six games during the spring season.