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Freshman CB a leader in NCCU's secondary

Freshman cornerback Michael Jones has shown an ability to play some terrific football in the North Carolina Central secondary. Jones, a 5-foot-9, 175-pounder from Baltimore is establishing himself as not only one of the bright young players in the MEAC, but across the country.

Although NCCU (2-2) dropped a 35-17 decision to Towson on Saturday, Jones was able to pick up his fourth interception of the season. That’s pretty impressive. His four picks are tied for the FCS lead.

A week ago, he received MEAC Rookie of the Week honors for his playmaking skills after leading NCCU to a 40-13 win over Charlotte. Jones intercepted two passes that resulted in a pair of Eagles touchdowns. In addition, he had four tackles, three of them solo and one for loss, and a pass breakup. In Week 2, Jones intercepted a pass in the second overtime to help NCCU edge St. Augustine’s.

His skills aren't limited to covering receivers. Jones can play the run as well. He knows how to come up and turn those running plays inside where his linebackers can make plays. Jones has nine solo and 16 total tackles this season.

The Eagles interim head coach, Dwayne Foster, has watched the true freshman develop this season. Foster said he feels Jones has been able to make a bigger impact than just with his athletic talent. That’s only part of his game. Jones has done a great job utilizing the fundamentals as well.

“He’s been in the right place and has great technique,” Foster said. “He has great quickness and great instincts. He’ll come up and tackle you as well. He’s got some confidence. We want him to continue to get better. We’re excited about his play. He’s got a huge, huge upside.”

There’s still plenty of football to be played this season, but Jones appears to be a solid candidate for the Jerry Rice Award, which annually goes to top FCS freshman of the year.

North Carolina Central has a bye this week. The Eagles will travel to Washington, D.C., to play Howard at William Greene Stadium on Oct. 5 in their first MEAC game of the season.

Notes

  • South Carolina State wide receiver Caleb Davis has been named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week. Davis caught five passes for 76 yards with two touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 59-6 victory over Benedict College. Davis averaged 19 yards a catch.

  • North Carolina Central linebacker Tazmon Foster was selected MEAC Defensive Player of the Week. Foster had a game-high 17 tackles (eight solo) against No. 4 Towson, the most recorded by an Eagle in 10 years.

  • Southern wide receiver Lee Doss was selected as the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week. Doss had 10 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars' 17-7 victory over Mississippi Valley State. He was responsible for more than half of Southern’s total offense. He scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dray Joseph and had a 45-yard catch to set up the Jaguars’ first offensive touchdown of the game.

  • Alabama State linebacker Daerius Washington was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week. Washington had eight tackles and returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown. His score late in the first half gave Alabama State a 28-7 lead. He helped lead the Hornets’ defense that held Grambling State to 12 rushing yards.

SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll

1. Bethune-Cookman

2. North Carolina A&T

3. Tennessee State

4. Winston-Salem State

5. South Carolina State

6. Prairie View A&M

7. Tuskegee

8. Jackson State

9. Howard

10. Florida A&M