MEAC's rising stars, future NFL prospects

If you look around the country, there are many standout freshmen playing HBCU football.

The MEAC has a number of rising stars who are making an immediate impact, and it won’t be long before they will be household names in the FCS. But you can write the names down now.

These players should continue to develop and could eventually become NFL prospects in the next few seasons. Here are some young players to watch over the next few years and some named to remember down the road.

Brendon Riddick (Norfolk State, RB, 5-11, 210, freshman)

Riddick has the speed to get to the edge and can run between the tackles. He opened a lot of eyes with his brilliant performance against Liberty on Sept. 8 (21 carries, 150 yards and three TDs). The fans at Norfolk State knew right away he was going to be a special player.

Deon King (Norfolk State, LB, 6-1, 230, freshman)

King does a good job of following the play. He knows how to stop the run and has great size and quickness. He’s also been a good pass rusher with two sacks in the early going and has four tackles for loss for 23 yards.

Marquis Gorham (North Carolina A&T, WR, 5-8, 190, freshman)

Gorham has been very impressive. He’s a small receiver who can use his speed to get open, and he runs the short routes as well as the deep patterns. Gorham can find the open spots in the zone and goes across the middle and down the sidelines.

Elandon Roberts (Morgan State, LB, 6-1, 225, freshman)

Roberts has a real nose for the football, has good speed and does a nice job of stopping the run. He has 18 solo tackles and finished with 11 solo hits in a game against Sacred Heart. He’s one of those play-making linebackers.


Florida A&M QB Damien Fleming was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week. He completed 30-of-37 passes for 399 yards with three TDs to help FAMU edge Delaware State, 24-22. Fleming had nine carries for 28 yards and caught one pass for a six-yard gain to tally 433 yards of total offense.

North Carolina Central DB Ryan Smith was chosen as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week. Smith intercepted a pass in the end zone to save a touchdown in the Eagles’ win over Savannah State.

Deaunte Mason, Alabama A&M quarterback, was selected as the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week. Mason led the Bulldogs to a 42-13 win over Texas Southern. He had 255 yards in total offense including 24 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. He hit seven different receivers, connecting on 14-of-24 passes for 231 yards and 2 TDs.

Alabama State LB Brandon Roberts was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week. Roberts had a career-high 15 tackles, including nine solo, and had a tackle for a loss in a 24-21 losing effort to Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll

1. Tennessee State

2. Winston-Salem State

3. Alabama A&M

4. Bethune-Cookman

5. Norfolk State

6. South Carolina State

7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

8. Howard

9. Fort Valley State

10. Alabama State