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.
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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
COACHES OF THE YEAR
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
ROOKIES/NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR
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
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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