What has been a good year for Winston-Salem State coach Bobby Collins just got better. After leading his team to its first CIAA Tournament title in over a dozen years and its second consecutive D2 NCAA appearance, Collins was given a three year extension according to the Winston-Salem Journal’s John Dell.
“We want to continue to play for championships and win championships,” said Collins. ”This will really help us in recruiting because kids are always wondering how long you might be at one school and this shows me a lot.”
The former Hampton coach was hired by former WSSU Athletic Director Chico Caldwell prior to the 2006-2007 season. I was at his initial press conference where he talked about building a winning Division I program. Obviously, Collins had no way of knowing the changes that would soon come his team’s way. Caldwell resigned his post during Collin’s third season, and the Rams headed back to Division 2 and the CIAA the following season. Since the move back to D2, Collins has recorded a stellar 40-15 record and has become one of only two coaches (joining NC A&T’s Cal Irvin) to win both MEAC and CIAA Tournament Championships.
According to reports, Collins will make approximately $110,000 per year for the next three seasons, which will keep him under contract until 2015-2016.
The Rams look to have a good shot at repeating last season’s success, as they will return all five starters from last season’s 21-9 team.
Having been around Collins in his first years at WSSU, I can say with confidence he’s as much of a teacher as he is a coach. He really cares about his players and builds them up. My gut tells me he really wants to be a Division I coach. He had some success on that level, leading Hampton to an MEAC title and that’s why he came to Winston. If he can keep the Rams winning championships, he may very well get his shot at a DI job again. For now, he’ll look to keep the Rams atop the CIAA.
“The challenge for me is keep our guys hungry,” Collins said. “Now I can’t wait to get the season started.”
Long before Norfolk State became known for completing one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history, the Spartan Legion thrived. Once a staple of CIAA entertainment, the Spartan Legion has been wowing crowds up and down the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference since 1997. The Legion consists of 250 staff, student musicians and dancers and has performed at events both stateside and internationally. In addition to cheering on both the 2011 MEAC football champions and the 2012 MEAC Basketball Tournament Champions, the Legion has also performed for President Obama.
Watch the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion perform “Be Scared” at the 2012 Labor Day Classic vs. Virginia State.
North Carolina Central’s 54-31 win over Fayetteville State wasn’t as clean as he would have liked, but NCCU coach Henry Frazier was pleased with the final result.
“D1/D2, teams switch divisions all the time, but it doesn’t matter,” said Frazier of NCCU’s former CIAA rival. “I’m just glad to get the win.”
Early on, both teams struggled to find their rhythm on offense and special teams. In fact, each team scored its initial touchdowns off of their opponents special teams miscues. FSU struck first when Chris Person recovered a block punt and stumbled into the end zone with just under 9 minutes in the first quarter. Frazier said he wasn’t surprised at the block kick.
“It happened twice in practice this week,” he said. “I keep telling the guys, what happens in practice also happens in a real game.”
Fortunately for the Eagles, the Broncos repaid them by touching a live ball after a punt, which found it’s way into Geovonie Irvin’s hands and into the endzone, tying the game with just over five minutes remaining. The Broncos would take a 10-7 lead on a Antonio Mayo field goal early in the second quarter, however, that would be their last lead of the game.
NCCU’s offense settled down in the second quarter, outscoring FSU 14-7 to take a 20-17 lead at half. It was all NCCU from their as the passing game came alive thanks to several hookups from quarterback Matt Goggans to Irvine. Irvine caught 6 passes for 79 yards, including a 20 yard touchdown strike from the back of the endzone.
FSU continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but the size and depth of NCCU proved to be too much for them overcome. FSU coach Kenny Phillips pointed out that the team also shot its chances of winning the game by turning the ball over three times.
“Bottom line, Phillips said, “we turned the ball over too many times against a team that is better than it was last year.”
One of those turnovers was a quarter interception that was returned 69 yards by NCCU’s Allonte Tuppins, which gave FSU a ten point lead which it never relinquished. Despite the final score, Phillips said he was pleased with his team’s effort as a whole.
“We fought for four quarters,” he said. “We got winded on defense, but that was due to not being able to move the ball on offense.”
NCCU controlled the line of scrimmage, holding FSU to just 60 yards on 34 attempts while rushing for 197 yards on their own 34 attempts. Arthur Goforth led NCCU with 85 yards rushing, adding one touchdown. Andre Clark scored on two of his eight rushing attempts, finishing with 47 yards.
In his first start since transferring to NCCU in the spring, Goggans completed 15 of 26 passes for 233 yards and one touchdowns. His numbers would have been even better if not for several drops by his receivers. After the game, Goggans admitted to having pre-game jitters early on.
“There were some nerves, but we started to get a good rhythm,” he said. “It started slowing down and it felt like football.”
Frazier had nothing but praise for his new starting quarterback.
“Matt made a lot of good plays. He recognized what the defense was doing and was making some audibles at the line,” he said. “He has what the players call “swag.”
NCCU will face Elon on the road next week.
The struggles of Black quarterbacks to break into the mainstream football world has been pretty well documented. Almost as soon as majority institutions began accepting Black players, they conveniently moved them to other positions. And if a player was given a chance at the college level, they had little chance of making it under center in the NFL.
Slowly, but surely, these things have changed in the last 30 plus years of football. There are now several Black QBs starting in the NFL and dozens of them in major D-I football.
So with the changing dynamics of the quarterbacking world, it only makes sense that historically black colleges and universities are experiencing the ripple effects in their programs. When North Carolina Central and Shaw start their seasons on Sept 1, the starting signal-callers for both teams will be Caucasians for the first time in each school’s history.
Matt Goggans, a 6-2, 225lb quarterback from Pine Grove, California will lead NCCU’s offense on the field against Fayetteville State on Sept. 1. Goggans enrolled at NCCU in the fall after transferring from Fullerton College. NCCU coach Henry Frazier said he was impressed by his composure in the pocket.
“Matt came here in January, and he got the reps in spring practice. He’s a pure pocket passer, and his pocket presence is more comfortable to me as a coach.”
When James Stallons comes out on the field Thursday night against Charleston (WV) he will stand out not only because of his skin color but also his height. The 6’6 , 210 lb Macomb, MI product won the starting job over Quishon Odom, who led the Bears to the 2010 CIAA championship.
Despite the fact that some schools still have never had non-Black starters, White quarterbacks at HBCUs are nothing new. Eddie Robinson had a backup quarterback at Grambling as early as the 1970s. Chris Walley led Norfolk State to its first MEAC championship in school history, last year.
In a 2005 interview with Black America Web, former Florida A&M Sports Information Director Alvin Hollins explained why White players quarterbacks at HBCUs have become more prevalent in the last decade.
“Now that you see more black quarterbacks at bigger schools, what’s basically happening is that the white kids who can play are getting squeezed out, so they have to go to a Division I-AA or [smaller programs],” Hollins said.
Anyone who has been around HBCUs for any amount of time can tell you that they aren’t always the most “change-friendly” places of higher learning. Many of the alumni come from a time when they were the only option for black students and athletes, and they are resistant to change. The thing is, the days when HBCUs had the pick of the litter in terms of Black athletes is long gone.
Don’t get me wrong, the likelihood that you’ll ever see a five-star QB, Black or White, turn down Florida State for FAMU or Bethune-Cookman is never going to happen. But if your school had the chance to pick up a solid three-star recruit, would you be willing to take a lesser player simply because he is Black? Of course not. The goal at HBCUs athletic departments, like all athletic programs, is to win.
Having gone to an HBCU, I know from experience there is nothing like the spirit of community and pride that these institutions can inspire in the lives of young African-Americans. Hopefully this will stay intact for generations to come. But if HBCUs want winning athletic programs, they’d better get the best players they can on the field, regardless of color.
The following is the third in a series of posts highlighting the best NFL players at each position produced by HBCUs. The list is comprised of players who played their careers at HBCUs after 1970.
Before he became the Greatest Receiver of All-Time, Jerry Rice was known in HBCU circles as “World.” Legend has it he was given the name because “there wasn’t a ball he couldn’t catch in the world.” The Starkville, MS, native came to Mississippi Valley State in 1981 as a lightly heralded recruit with no Division I-A scholarship offers. He left four years later as a first-round draft pick.
Rice’s career at MSVS really took off his sophomore year with the addition of strong-armed QB Willie Totten. That season, Rice caught 66 passes for 1,113 yards, great for any level of competition in the early 1980s. Rice and Totten spent the next three years racking up records and terrorizing the SWAC with their patented aerial attack. The numbers the two of them put up were simply ridiculous. After setting the NCAA record for receptions (102) and yards (1,450) as a junior, Rice bettered those numbers as a senior, catching 103 passes for 1,687. He also scored an amazing 27 touchdowns that season.
As spectacular as Rice was at Mississippi Valley, his professional career proved to be even better. Rice played an incredible 20 seasons in the NFL, breaking every major career receiving record while winning three Super Bowls. He owns the league records for career receptions (1,549) yards (22,895) and touchdowns(208) and is sure to be selected to the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible.
2. John Stallworth-Alabama A&M
Choosing the second best receiver was just as difficult as choosing the top one was hard. There are other receivers with gaudier stats, and I abhor equating championships with successful careers, but being a key contributor on a team that won four Super Bowl’s in a decade is a hard thing to overlook. Stallworth first made his mark at Alabama A&M, making the All-SIAC team in both his junior and senior seasons.
Stallworth was drafted by the Steelers in the 4th round of the 1974 draft and helped the team win its first-ever Super Bowl during his rookie season. Stallworth’s numbers his first couple of seasons weren’t that spectacular, but put that in context. He played during a run-heavy era on an especially run-happy team. He also played alongside another Hall-of-Fame receiver, Lynn Swann. Add in a few seasons where he missed a large chunk of games and it becomes clear that Stallworth can’t be judged on numbers alone.
Stallworth’s signature season came in 1984 when he returned from injury to have his best season ever, at the age of 32. Stallworth caught 80 passes for 1,395 yards and 11 touchdowns en route to being named Comeback Player of The Year. When he retired three seasons later, he owned every significant receiving record for the storied franchise. He finished his career with 537 receptions, 8,723 yards and 65 touchdowns and was elected to the NFL Hall-of-Fame in 2002.
3. Jimmy Smith-Jackson State
The story of Jackson State’s Jimmy Smith is one filled with ups and downs, but an inspiring one none the less. In four seasons at JSU, he caught 110 passes for 2,073 yards and 16 touchdowns and was a second round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. After arriving in Dallas at the start of the Cowboy’s 90′s dynasty, injuries limited Smith’s production and a dispute with owner Jerry Jones eventually led to Smith being released in 1994. After being cut from the Eagles, Smith finally found a home with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995.
From 1996 to 2002, Smith put together a string of seven straight seasons of over 75 yards and 1,000 yards. Smith was a five-time Pro-Bowl selection who passed the 1,000 yard threshold nine times in his career, including the season prior to his retirement in 2005. Smith finished his career with 862 receptions, 12,287 yards and 69 touchdowns.
4. Donald Driver-Alcorn State
Donald Driver is one of the modern HBCU to NFL success stories. Driver arrived at Alcorn State just after the Steve McNair era ended, catching a modest 88 passes for 1,993 yards during his time there. At the time Green Bay drafted him in the 7th round of the 1999 NFL Draft, he was probably more accomplished as a track athlete.
Driver didn’t become a starter until his fourth NFL season, when he caught 70 of Brett Farve’s passes for 1,064 yards, the first of seven 1,000 yard season in his career so far. Though he is on the back end of his NFL career, the four-time Pro Bowler was still a valued contributor for the 2010 Super Bowl Champs and remains a team leader as he prepares for his fourteenth NFL season. His 750 catches and 10,060 yards are both Packer records.
5. John Taylor-Delaware State
It’s likely that by the time John Taylor was drafted by the San Fransisco 49ers in the 3rd round of the 1986 NFL Draft, no one was happier about it than opposing coaches in the MEAC. During Taylor’s time at Delaware State, he terrorized the rest of the league. An electrifying returner as well as a speedy deep threat, Taylor scored 15 touchdowns his senior season, two of which came on kick returns. Taylor finished his career as the NCAA record holder for yards per catch with an amazing 24.3 per grab (the record has since been eclipsed by Hampton’s Jerome Mathis) and a dazzling 2,426 receiving yards.
In San Fransisco, Taylor teamed up with Mississippi Valley State’s Jerry Rice to form one of the most dangerous receiving duos of all-time. Taylor’s speed and deep threat abilities provided the perfect compliment to Rice’s deliberate, precise route-running. Taylor was largely used as a return specialist early in his career, however his role increased after he caught the game winning catch of Super Bowl XXIII. The next season he caught 60 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns. Taylor would again go over 1,000 yards in 1991. For his career, Taylor caught 347 passes for 5,598 yards and 43 touchdowns. He also holds the Super Bowl record for punt returns and punt return average.
Though there are other receivers with far more catches and yards in their career, considering the offensive playmakers he played with (Rice, Roger Craig, Gary Clark) and his meaningful contributions to three Super Bowl champions, there’s no debating that Taylor is one of the best receivers ever produced by any HBCU.
After being selected as a defensive back from Grambling, Joiner went to have a long NFL career. Finished with 750 receptions 12, 146 yards and 65 touchdowns in an era where 1,000 seasons were rare. Elected to the HOF in 1996.
“Bullet Bob” was a running back under Jake Gaither at FAMU, but was probably better known for being the “fastest man in the world” in the 1960s. The Cowboys utilized Hayes speed as a wide receiver, and caught 371 passes for 7,741 yards and 71 touchdowns. Elected to HOF in 2009.
This is the second in a series of posts highlighting the best NFL players produced by HBCUs at each position. For most positions, we will only consider players who began their college careers after 1970.
Folks may argue whether or not Walter Payton is the best NFL running back ever. The man he stole the league’s all-time rushing record from, Jim Brown, played just nine NFL seasons. The man who took the title from him, Emmitt Smith played 14 seasons and won three championships. Barry Sanders may have had more spectacular runs. But when it comes to backs produced by HBCUs, Walter Payton stands head and shoulders above his peers.
Payton’s collegiate career came at a time where African-Americans were few and far between in the Southeastern Conference. Most teams only had a handful of Black players, if any. Throw in the fact that the 5’10 running back only played two years of high school football, and him landing at Jackson State makes plenty of sense.
Despite his light recruitment, it didn’t take long for Sweetness to make his presence felt around the SWAC and nationwide. Playing with future pros like Robert Brazile, Jackie Slater and his older brother Eddie, Payton re-wrote the history books, breaking the NCAA’s scoring record by rushing for 65 touchdowns in his four seasons. He finished with over 3,500 yards in his career, running for over 6 yards per carry. He also finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Award.
Payton was drafted no. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears and continued to defy the odds his entire pro career. He was a 9-time Pro-Bowl participant, 9-time All-Pro Selection, broke Jim Brown’s career rushing record and capped off his career with a Super Bowl following the 1985 season.
Runner Up: LeRoy Kelly-Morgan State
It’s never easy replacing a legend, and in the NFL there is no bigger legend than Jim Brown. When the Cleveland Browns drafted the Morgan State runner in the eight round of the 1964 NFL Draft they probably figured he’d eventually be Brown’s successor, but no one could have realized it would have come so soon. One season removed from the Brown’s 1964 NFL Title, Brown abruptly retired, leaving Kelly as the featured back. Kelly made the transition from the CIAA to NFL look easy, making the first of six Pro-Bowl appearances, leading the league in rushing yards in both ’67 and ’68 and leading touchdowns from 66-68.
Kelly was one of the first great all-around backs of the NFL. He finished his career with over 12,000 yards, including 7, 274 rushing yards. He also retired with 90 touchdowns and was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1994.
Notable: Willie Galimore-FAMU
In the pantheon of NFL running backs, Galimore’s numbers don’t look that impressive. He recorded 2,985 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns in 7 NFL seasons, never gaining 1,000 yards. But this NFL films video featuring Galimore tells everything you need to know about legendary coach Jake Gaither’s star back.
The Hampton Pirates have a new captain behind the wheel. The university announced on Thursday that it has tabbed former MEAC President Novelle Dickenson as its new athletic director, effective immediately.
“I believe Mr. Dickenson’s background in academics as well as athletics is a perfect fit for the athletic director position here at Hampton University,” said Hampton President Dr. William R. Harvey. “He is passionate about Hampton athletics and is a staunch educator with more than 30 years of experience in the classroom and academic administration.”
Dickenson has deep ties to both Hampton and the MEAC. He is a Hampton graduate, with a master’s degree degree in political science from Howard. Joining Dickenson in the athletic department will be Alexiss Robinson who has been tabbed as assistant athletic director as well as senior woman administrator. Robinson is also a Hampton grad who has spent time at Howard and Norfolk State.
Dickenson will be the third person to fill the position for Hampton in a little over a year. Keisha Campbell, who was hired as the university’s first female AD last year, resigned last spring, due to an “overly stressful work environment.” Malcolm Avery filled in as interim athletic director while the university made it’s search for a full-time leader.
One of the issues Dickenson’s will have to deal with are improving academics for the school’s football team. Hampton’s football team was sanctioned by the NCAA in June for its low APR Scores.
Luckily for Hampton, Dickenson has a strong academic background, having worked in various capacities at the school in the last three decades, including Political Science and History Chair. He is also a former member of the NCAA Academic/Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet.
There has also been talk of Hampton possibly jumping to the Colonial Athletic Association from the MEAC. With the conference looking to fill departures of Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion, Dickenson and Hampton may be faced with a big decision in the near future. Stay tuned!
DURHAM, NC– North Carolina Central’s coaching situation just got clearer as the school reinstated Henry Frazier as head football coach. Frazier was put on paid administrative lead by the school this past may after being arrested and charged with assaulting his wife, LaNier.
“Coach Frazier is remorseful for the distraction to the university,” NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said in a statement. “North Carolina Central University stands on century-old values and high standards that we expect and require from all members of our community. These core principles include mutual respect and the absence of violence in resolving conflict.”
According to the media release, the legal matter has been resolved. However, the Associated Press’ calls to the Morrisville Police Department went unanswered.
Frazier lead the Eagles to a 2-9 season their first season as full member’s of Division I’s MEAC Conference. The Eagles were predicted to finish ninth in the conference during Friday’s conference Media Day.
Norfolk State won its first ever MEAC Football championship last year, after joining the conference back in 1997. Now, it finds itself in the unfamiliar position of being the favorite to wear the conference’s crown.
The MEAC released the results of its preseason poll of conference coaches and SIDs at the annual media day on Friday, with the Spartans receiving 11 first-place votes. South Carolina State was second, receiving four first-place votes. Also receiving one first-place vote was Hampton, who along with North Carolina A&T, is ineligible for the NCAA Bowl Subdivison Playoffs, should they win the regular season title.
Florida A&M, picked to finish fourth in the conference, placed five players on the preseason version of the All-Conference first team, as did Norfolk State. North Carolina A&T running back Mike Mayhew and Howard linebacker Keith Pough are the preseason selections for Offensive and Defensive Player of The Year awards.
Norfolk State will look to repeat as champions despite the loss quarterback Chris Walley and seven starters from last season’s squad that held opponents to just 17 points per game in route to a 9-3 (7-1 MEAC) record.
MEAC FOOTBALL PRESEAON POLL
(Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. Norfolk State
2. South Carolina State
4. Florida A&M
6. North Carolina A&T
7. Morgan State
9. North Carolina Central
10. Delaware State
11. Savannah State
QB -Greg McGhee, Howard, So.
RB – Mike Mayhew, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
RB – Isidore Jackson, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
WR – Xavier Boyce, Norfolk State, Sr.
WR – Tavis Tarpley, Delaware State, Sr.
TE – Joeseph Hawkins, Norfolk State, Sr.
C – Michael Kay, Norfolk State, Sr.
OL – Steven Robinson, Florida A&M, Sr.
OL – Blake Matthews, Norfolk State, Sr.
OL – Terrence Hackney, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
OL – Cory Gwinner, Howard, Sr.
DL – Tony Mashburn, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
DL – Padric Scott, Florida A&M, Sr.
DL – Richard, Ndubueze, Morgan State Sr.
DL – Mathhew Davis, Hampton, Jr.
LB – Keith Pough, Howard, Sr.
LB – Jarkevis Fields, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
LB – D’Vonte Grant, North Carolina A&T, So.
DB – John Ojo, Florida A&M, Sr.
DB – DeVontae Johnson, Florida A&M, So.
DB – Travis Crosby, North Carolina A&T, Jr.
DB – D.J. Howard, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
First-Team Special Teams
PK – Everett Goldberg, Norfolk State, Sr.
P – Brandon Holdren, Florida A&M, Sr.
RS – Geovonie Irvin, North Carolina Central, Sr.
QB – Damien Fleming, Florida A&M, So.
RB – Antwon Chisholm, Hampton, Jr.
RB – Travis Davidson, Morgan State, Sr.
WR – Eddie Poole, Bethune-Cookman, Sr.
WR – Justin Wilson, Delaware State, Sr.
TE – Kris Drummond, Savannah State, So.
C – Tristan Bellamy, South Carolina State, So.
C – Vincent Harper, Hampton, Jr.
OL – Sam Hammond, South Carolina State, Sr.
OL – Nathan Isles, North Carolina A&T, Jr.
OL – Cameron Williams, Norfolk State, Jr.
OL – Marquell Rozier, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
DL – Xavier Proctor, North Carolina Central, Sr.
DL – Leon Smith, South Carolina State, Sr.
DL – Herold Love III, Bethune-Cookman, Sr.
DL – Brandon Young, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
LB – Delbert Tyler, Hampton, Jr.
LB – Joe Thomas, South Carolina State, Jr.
LB – Lyndell Gibson, Hampton, Sr.
DB – Justin Blake, Hampton, Sr.
DB – Kenneth Ridley, Morgan State, Jr.
DB – Darius Drummond, South Carolina State, Jr.
DB – DeCarlos Knight, Howard, Sr.
Second-Team Special Teams
PK – Taureab Durham, Hampton, Sr.
P – Jordan Stovall, Hampton, Jr.
RS – Darius Drummond, South Carolina State, Jr.
With the blistering heatwave that has impacted most of the country, many people may be surprised to look at their calendars and see that August is just a few weeks away. In the college football calendar, this is Conference Media Day season. For the uninitiated, conference media days are when on-field rival players and coaches put down the gloves and meet up in air-conditioned hotel conference rooms to discuss the upcoming season with the media.
The four HBCU conferences are all holding their media days this week. The SWAC held theirs July 17 in Birmingham as did the SIAC in Tucker, GA. The CIAA Media Day will be July 19 in Petersburg, VA and the MEAC’s Luncheon will take place in Norfolk, VA on Friday, July 20.
Having been to a couple of these ventures, it’s definitely an experience. Players are either over-excited to be there or arrive damn-near comatose. There’s usually not much middle ground. That’s because Sports Information Directors (SIDs) and coaches usually get to together and decide who should represent the program, and the guys really don’t have the choice to decline. So as a reporter you either get the guy that gives you dread “yes” or “no” answers and middle-of-the-road, straight-from-the-coach’s-playbook quotes “It is what it is,” or “We’re just gonna practice and play hard.” Boring.
Then there’s the kid who gives gives candid answers that the reporters love and the coaches loath. He’s usually a good kid, just cocky with an over-inflated sense of ego (usually a defensive back or receiver). He’s the guy who coaches give dirty looks as he says, “I definitely think I’m worthy of preseason first-team. In fact, I should’ve made it last year too.” Most SIDs and coaches have a pretty good handle on who these kids are and wisely leave them on campus.
Then there is the rare occasion where they select a talented, cerebral and articulate young man who provides you with insightful answers. This is an athletic department’s dream. Especially at an HBCU. He won’t say anything to embarrass the program, but he doesn’t come off like a robot to the media. This matters. Trust me.
Anyway, in addition to interviewing players and coaches about the upcoming season, media day also provides the usually conservative, but sometimes controversial preseason predictions. Coaches and media weigh in on where they think teams will rank when the dust settles and what players will shine. It’s all a crap shoot, but with the season well over a month away, it gives folks something to talk about. So far, the SIAC predicts Miles will repeat as champs, while the SWAC dubbed Grambling State (Western) and Alabama State (Eastern) Division Winners. Also Grambling running back Dawarence Roberts and Jackson State lineman Joseph LeBeau were named the conferences preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectfully.
What can we expect from the CIAA Media Day today? The Winston-Salem Journal’s John Dell gives us a preview on his Winston-Salem State sports blog, Ram Ramblings. You won’t find a more well-respected reporter in North Carolina, and certainly not the CIAA than Dell. Anyway, he believes the Rams will win the Southern Division despite having a huge target on their back one season after going 13-1 and just missing the Division II championship game. One thing is for sure, the Rams won’t be sneaking up on anybody this season.
View the CIAA Football Media Conference live.