ATLANTA, Ga. | Florida A&M University redshirt sophomore wide receiver Xavier Smith was named Wednesday to the 2019 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List.
Smith played in all 11 games last season for the Orange and Green. He led the team in receiving with 52 receptions for 727 yards, along with four scores. He averaged 66.1 yards per game and 14.0 yards per catch. In addition, he registered 59 rush yards on 13 attempts for 5.4 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.
The Haines City, Fla. native also recorded eight kickoffs for 171 yards, averaging 21.4 yards per kick return.
Congrats to Xavier Smith for being named to the Black College Football Player of the Year Watch List #FangsUp #FAMU #strikestrikestrikeagain #WeAreFAMU #FAMULY #buildingchampions #LegendsAreBornHere #Rattlers #WeBleedOrangeandGreen #FightToFinish pic.twitter.com/Dm08vWQIED— FAMU Athletics (@FAMUAthletics) August 14, 2019
The Black College Football Player of the Year is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player from a Historically Black College & University. The 2019 watch list is composed of 48 players from 27 different HBCUs. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) led the way with 16 players represented, followed by the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) with 13. The CIAA placed 10, while the SIAC had eight and an independent member registered one player.
Former North Carolina A&T State running back and current Chicago Bear Tarik Cohen was selected as the inaugural recipient of the award in 2016. Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall earned back-to-back honors in 2017 and 2018.
The winner of the 2019 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be honored with the Deacon Jones Trophy during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which takes place on Feb. 15, 2020 in Atlanta. The top four finalists will be unveiled on Dec. 3, 2019.
“There are many gifted football players competing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities right now,” said Super Bowl XXII MVP and BCFHOF co-founder Doug Williams. “This Award is a way for the Black College Football Hall of Fame to recognize these talented student-athletes.”
“The Deacon Jones Trophy is the most coveted individual award a football player from an HBCU can receive,” said BCFHOF co-founder and 2012 inductee James Harris. “I enjoy monitoring the progress of these young men throughout the season.”
The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2019 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.
About Black College Football Hall of Fame
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October of 2009 by African-American pioneers and quarterbacks, Pro Bowl MVP James "Shack" Harris and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There have been 77 Inductees since inception, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees.
About Deacon Jones
David “Deacon” Jones played defensive end for South Carolina State University and Mississippi Valley State University from 1958 to 1960. Blessed with speed, agility, and quickness, the “Deacon” became one of the finest pass rushers in the business. He won unanimous All-NFL honors six straight years from 1965 through 1970 and was selected to eight Pro Bowls. Jones is an inaugural Black College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2010) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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