Amir Hall, Trent Cannon Named BOXTOROW National Players of the Year


South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard has done what his former teammate and now Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave did just two years ago.

Repeat as BOXTOROW Willie Davis Defensive Player of the Year.

The redshirt senior from Lake View, S.C. also repeated as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in tackles (113), averaging 7.3 solo tackles per game, which is second best in FCS. He also recorded 10 tackles or more in seven games, had eight sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.

Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall was voted BOXTOROW Offensive Player of the Year.

North Carolina A&T head coach Rod Broadway was voted BOXTOROW Coach of the Year, equaling Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs and former Winston-Salem State head coach Connell Maynor as the coaches to win the award twice. However, Broadway is the first in the history of the award to win it with two different teams, winning it in 2008 as the head coach of Grambling.

Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon was awarded the BOXTOROW Special Teams Player of the Year. 

Howard quarterback Caylin Newton was voted BOXTOROW Impact Player of the Year as well as Rookie of the Year.

Hall, a redshirt junior from Bowie, Md., passed for 3,519 yards, threw 41 touchdowns, threw for 300 or more yards in a game seven times, threw for over 400 yards in a game twice and completed 65 percent of his passes, throwing just four interceptions. He also rushed for 406 yards and eight touchdowns.

Newton, a true freshman from Atlanta, Ga., was the MEAC Rookie of the Year and led the conference in total yards (289.5). He was second in the MEAC in scoring (74 points). He completed 51 percent of his passes for 2,432 yards with 13 touchdowns. Newton finished fourth in MEAC in rushing (735) and second in MEAC in rushing touchdowns (12).

In his first-ever collegiate game against FBS opponent UNLV, Newton completed 15-of-26 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns as the Bison defeated the Rebels 43-40.

Cannon, who was also a BOXTOROW All-America selection at running back, returned 24 kickoffs for 808 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 33.7 yards per return. He led the country in return yards and return yard average.

In his seventh season, Broadway has led the Aggies to an 11-0 record, to their third MEAC championship as coach of A&T and their first outright championship since 2003.

The Aggies will face off against Grambling in the Celebration Bowl on Saturday which will decide the HBCU national championship.

The voters on the BOXTOROW Awards are comprised of media members from around the nation that cover HBCU football.

2017    Amir Hall, Bowie State
2016    Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T
2015    Johnathan Williams, Grambling State
2014    John Gibbs, Jr., Alcorn State
2013    Dray Joseph, Southern
2012    Kameron Smith, Winston-Salem State
2011    Casey Therriault, Jackson State
2010    Frank Warren, Grambling State
2009    Will Ford, South Carolina State
2008    Will Ford, South Carolina State
2007    Jacary Atkinson, Tuskegee

2017    Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
2016    Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
2015    Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
2014    Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
2013    Darnell Evans, Shaw
2012    Brandon Thurmond, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
2011    Adrian Hamilton, Prairie View A&M
2010    Kenrick Ellis, Hampton
2009    Christian Anthony, Grambling
2008    Marcellus Speaks, Jackson State
2007    Zach East, Prairie View A&M

2017    Rod Broadway, North Carolina A&T
2016    Broderick Fobbs, Grambling State and Jerry Mack, North Carolina Central
2015    Broderick Fobbs, Grambling State
2014    Jay Hopson, Alcorn State
2013    Rod Reed, Tennessee State
2012    Connell Maynor, Winston-Salem State
2011    Connell Maynor, Winston-Salem State
2010    Brian Jenkins, Bethune-Cookman
2009    Henry Frazier, Prairie View A&M
2008    Rod Broadway, Grambling State
2007    Al Lavan, Delaware State

2017    Caylin Newton, Howard
2016    Jordan Bentley, Alabama A&M
2015    Dorrel McClain, North Carolina Central/Hakeem Holland, Virginia Union
2014    Austin Howard, Southern
2013    Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T
2012    Damon Gresham Chisholm, Howard
2011    Greg McGhee, Howard
2010    Casey Therriault, Jackson State
2009    Ari Johnson, Grambling State
2008    Greg Dillon, Grambling State
2007    Frank Warren, Grambling State

2017   Trenton Cannon, Virginia State
2016    Willie Quinn, Southern
2015    Willie Quinn, Southern

2017    Caylin Newton, Howard
2016    DeVante Kincade, Grambling
2015    Lenorris Footman, Alcorn State