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BOXTOROW Superlatives: Tarik Cohen, Darius Leonard named BOXTOROW Players of the Year

Boxtorow.com

It eluded him last year, but not this year.

North Carolina A&T’s star running back Tarik Cohen was voted BOXTOROW Offensive Player of the Year.  The 5-6, 173-pound Cohen was named MEAC Offensive Player of the Year for the third-straight year and finished fifth in the Walter Payton voting for the best offensive player in FCS.

The Bunn, N.C. native leads the MEAC in rushing yards and is third in the FCS in rushing (1,588), and is second in FCS in rushing touchdowns (18).  Earlier this year he became the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher.  Cohen was the 2013 BOXTOROW Rookie of the Year.

South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard was voted BOXTOROW Willie Davis Defensive Player of the Year.

Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs and North Carolina Central head coach Jerry Mack were voted BOXTOROW Co-Coaches of the Years.  Fobbs won the award outright last year.

Southern return specialist Willie Quinn was named special teams player of the year for the second-straight year.

Grambling State quarterback DeVante Kincade was awarded the BOXTOROW Impact Player Award.

Leonard, a senior from Lake View, S.C., leads the MEAC and is sixth in FCS in tackles (124).  He is also fourth in the MEAC in tackles for loss (14.5) and is tied for the lead in the MEAC in forced fumbles (4).  His biggest game of the year was against Clemson when he registered 19 tackles.

Bentley, a true freshman from Guntersville, Ala., was named SWAC Rookie of the Year and second team All-SWAC.  He finished fourth in the SWAC in rushing (851) and tied for third with nine rushing touchdowns, while averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

Quinn, one of the best multi-purpose players in the country, had 19 kickoff returns for 501 yards, averaging 26.4 yards per return.  He also returned eight punt returns for 196 yards and a touchdown.

In his third season, Fobbs has led the Tigers to a 10-1 record, a perfect 9-0 record in the SWAC and to their first SWAC championship since 2011.  His Tigers will face off against Mack’s Eagles in the Celebration Bowl on Saturday which will decide the HBCU national championship.  Also in his third season, Mack has led NCCU to a 9-2 mark, 8-0 in MEAC play and its first MEAC championship since 1973.

The SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, Kincade leads the SWAC and is third in FCS in passing efficiency (172.8).  He has the best touchdown to interception ratio in FCS (30-3).  The junior from Dallas, Texas also leads the SWAC in passing yards (2,873), completion percentage (65.5) and total offense (283.2).  He Passed for over 300 yards in a game three times. Including passing for over 400 yards twice.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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

COACHES OF THE YEAR
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

ROOKIE/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
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

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2016    Willie Quinn, Southern
2015    Willie Quinn, Southern

IMPACT AWARD
2016    DeVante Kincade, Grambling

2015    Lenorris Footman, Alcorn State