For someone reluctant to embrace the spotlight and the history that he’s making with each passing game, Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall continues to solidify his place as the greatest football player in school history.  Now he has established himself among the greats in HBCU football after winning the highest individual honors in the sport.

Bowie State QB Amir Hall won the Deacon Jones Award as National Black College Football Player of the Year presented by the National Black College Football Hall of Fame (Courtesy photo)

Hall, a junior from Bowie, who played at Riverdale Baptist high school in Upper Marlboro, Maryland won the 2017 Deacon Jones Award as the national player of the year which is presented by the National Black College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.  The Deacon Jones Award is HBCU version of the Heisman Trophy and Hall is just the second recipient.  Last year the inaugural honor went to current Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen for his exploits at North Carolina A&T.  He also was named SBN Doug Williams Offensive Player of the Year as the top offensive player for 2017.

“When I was younger I always dreamed of trying to win the Heisman Trophy and going to New York for that ceremony,” Hall told the {AFRO}.  “This award is special to me because I grew up watching NFL Films and watched [Deacon Jones] play with the funny chin strap and old school swag so to win this award really means a lot.”

However, when the list of finalists was first announced it seemed Hall would face an uphill challenge to win.  Two other quarterbacks – Grambling’s Devante’ Kincade and Lamar Raynard from North Carolina A&T were players of the year from Division I conferences (SWAC and MEAC) respectively. Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon – the CIAA Player of the Year – rounded out the quintet.

In two years as a starter Hall has already rewritten Bowie State’s record books and last year’s statistics were mind boggling.  Hall led the Bulldogs to a 9-2 regular season record and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs where they hosted a game for the first time in school history.

He passed for 3,519 yards and 41 touchdowns in 11 games despite being on the bench for long stretches when they had big leads in the second half. He completed 65 percent of his passes and threw only four interceptions playing in an aggressive passing attack. Bowie St. led Division II in total offense with Hall throwing for at least 300 yards seven times and 400 yards twice.

“We still know the sky’s the limit for the young man,” said Bowie State coach Damon Wilson.  “There’s still room for him to grow. I think we’re only beginning to see what he is capable of. He’s a joy to have in your program, an excellent student athlete”.

Hall’s prolific season had to pass the litmus test from three former NFL quarterbacks who comprise most of the selection committee that were groomed at HBCU’s.  Former Baltimore Ravens personnel executive and the league’s first Black starting quarterback James Harris, fellow Grambling alumnus Doug Williams, the senior vice president of player personnel for Washington’s NFL franchise, and ESPN analyst Jay Walker of Howard voted on the award.  Former {USA Today} sports writer and HBCU Sports historian Roscoe Nance and Ty Miller, sports director for SBN Sports rounded out the selection committee.

“I’m just so happy to continue to lead the way for the next generation,” said Hall.  “The first time I went to Atlanta I had the chance to spend a lot of time with James “Shack” Harris who talked to me as did Doug Williams and Jay Walker.  They all told me what I need to help me get better and what I could do to help make the team better.”