The season's best in the MEAC and SWAC

The college football season is winding down. It’s time to take a look at the top HBCU players and coaches in the MEAC and SWAC. Both conferences had a number of great players in just about every phase of the game. There were some great coaching jobs as well.

It’s not easy picking the top offensive and defensive players in each league. There are at least three or four worthy candidates in each category. The same thing applies with the coaches. Nevertheless, it’s time to hand out the top honors in both leagues.


Offensive Player of the Year

QB Greg McGhee, Howard

McGhee had a great all-around season. The Bisons signal-caller is the second-leading passer in the MEAC. He completed 202 of 337 passes for 2,114 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. McGhee did a nice job throwing the ball downfield. And when the protection broke down, he showed some good speed getting away from the rush. McGhee’s running and passing skills were a big reason why he led the conference in total offense with 2,863 yards.

Defensive Player of the Year

LB Tazmon Foster, North Carolina Central

Foster has the ability to go sideline-to-sideline and make plays. He led the MEAC in tackles with 74 solo and 131 total. He is an NFL-caliber linebacker. Foster knows how to pick his spots in rushing the passer. He had two sacks. You have to know where he is on the field. He made a lot of plays with his speed and tackling ability.

Coach of the Year

Brian Jenkins, Bethune-Cookman

Jenkins hasn’t missed a beat since coming to Bethune-Cookman in 2010. Prior to B-CU, he was an assistant at Rutgers. He has won two MEAC championships already and B-CU (9-2 overall, 6-1 MEAC) should capture the league title again this year. It already has a win over Florida International, an FBS school, and its only league loss was to Norfolk State.


Offensive Player of the Year

QB Dray Joseph, Southern

Joseph is one of the best passers in FCS. The Jaguars' field general can make all the throws. He has completed 229 of 365 passes for 3,010 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passing exploits have led Southern to the top of the SWAC Western Division. He has a big game coming up against archrival Grambling State in the legendary Bayou Classic in the Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Defensive Player of the Year

LB Jer-Ryan Harris, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Harris is a real hitter. He has 51 solo and 97 total tackles this season. Harris knows how to play the run. He reads the play very quickly, comes up and makes the tackle. Harris should get some NFL looks.

Coach of the Year

Jay Hopson, Alcorn State

Hopson, the Braves second-year head coach, helped Alcorn State exceed all expectations by leading it to a 9-3 overall and 7-2 record in the SWAC. The Braves recently pulled off a major upset over Jackson State, 48-33. Hopson was just 4-7 overall and 4-5 in the SWAC last season. In just two seasons, he has set a great foundation for the Braves.


  • Alcorn State quarterback John Gibbs has been named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week. Gibbs completed 18 of 32 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Jackson State.

  • Alcorn State defensive back Quinton Cantue has been chosen as the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week. Cantue intercepted two passes and returned one 36 yards for a touchdown.

  • North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen has been named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week. Cohen scored two TDs and rushed for 98 yards on 10 carries. He also became the first freshman in North Carolina A&T history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

  • Howard defensive back Cameron Alston was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week. Alston had seven solo tackles and intercepted a pass to help Howard defeat Texas Southern.

  • SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll

    1. Winston-Salem State

    2. Bethune-Cookman

    3. South Carolina State

    4. Tennessee State

    5. Alcorn State

    6. Southern

    7. Virginia State

    8. Jackson State

    9. Alabama State

    10. Tuskegee