The Black College Football Hall of Fame 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 & University.
Standing out on the list are North Carolina Central national championship quarterback Davius Richard and Virginia Union running back Jada Byers. The list is composed of 49 players from 26 different HBCUs and includes players from the MEAC (13), SWAC (11), CIAA (11), SIAC (10), OVC (3), and CAA (1).
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 on Feb. 24, 2024.
“The Black College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the immense talent of our HBCU players today,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF co-founder. “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.”
Former Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders was the 2022 winner of the Award.
Here are the players who made the watch list this season:
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