Tuesday, December 11, 2012
HBCU: Players to watch in 2013
By Donald Hunt
Special to ESPN.com
Arkansas-Pine Bluff really pulled off an impressive win in the SWAC championship game, rallying from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat Jackson State 24-21 in overtime and win the conference title.
There were a lot of big plays in this game, including some by players who will be back next season. With the HBCU season in the history books, it’s time to take a look at the players to watch for 2013.
Here are the top five HBCU players heading into next season.
Quarterback/Arkansas-Pine Bluff Benjamin Anderson: Anderson, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, put on quite a show in the SWAC championship game, throwing a record-setting 95-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Willie Young with two minutes remaining to take the game into overtime. Anderson completed 13 of 25 passes for 225 yards and one TD. He also gained 36 yards on the ground and scored one rushing touchdown. The first-team All-SWAC selection was the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player.
Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowell: Crowell was third in the SWAC in rushing with 842 yards. The 5-11 sophomore transferred from the University of Georgia to Alabama State. He had four 100-yard games and scored 15 touchdowns, which led the SWAC.
Bethune-Cookman running back Isidore Jackson: Jackson, a 5-10 junior, was named first-team All-MEAC. He rushed for 1,069 yards while scoring 11 touchdowns and averaged 5.6 yards a carry. He led B-CU to the MEAC championship and the FCS playoffs.
Howard defensive back Julien David: David, a 5-11 junior, led the MEAC in tackles with 108, including 67 solo. David played the run extremely well. Howard is one of the up-and-coming teams in the conference and David has a lot to do with that success.
Delaware State defensive back Davon Moore: Moore is one of the best all-around defensive players in the MEAC. He had 97 total tackles and 63 solo tackles this season. The 5-11 sophomore also had two sacks and four interceptions.
2012 Final Boxtorow FCS HBCU Football Coaches Poll
- UAPB linebacker Bill Ross was named the defensive player of the game in the SWAC title game. Ross picked up a fumble and ran 73 yards for a touchdown, tying a school record for the longest fumble return for a TD.
- Jackson State wide receiver Rico Richardson had a terrific game in a losing effort, catching four passes for 72 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown. Richardson, a 6-1 senior, was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year. He finished the regular season with 56 receptions for 1,081 yards, which led the conference. He also led the SWAC in touchdown catches with 10 and yards per catch with 19.3 yards a game. Richardson is a solid NFL prospect.
- UAPB finished No. 1 in the Boxtorow National Coaches Poll for HBCU football. After winning the SWAC championship, the Golden Lions climbed to the top spot. Arkansas-Pine Bluff finished the season with a 10-2 overall record.
1. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 10-2
2. Bethune-Cookman 9-3
3. Tennessee State 8-3
4. Jackson State 7-5
5. North Carolina A&T 7-4
6. Alabama State 7-4
7. Howard 7-4
8. Alabama A&M 7-4
9. Delaware State 6-5
10. North Carolina Central 6-5
Contact Donald Hunt with HBCU questions, comments or story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.