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Courtesy: Southern U. Athletics

Tillery named finalist for BCF Player of the Year Award

Courtesy: AP
Release: 12/15/2016
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ATLANTA, Ga. -- Southern University runningback Lenard Tillery's stellar 2016 season continues to garner the Baton Rouge native widespread notoriety. 

The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced Wednesday four Finalists for the inaugural Black College Football Player of the Year Award. It will be presented annually to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) that embodies the rich tradition of athletic excellence and integrity associated with HBCUs.

Tillery joins a field which include North Carolina Central University QB Malcolm Bell, North Carolina A&T University RB Tarik Cohen and Grambling State QB DeVante Kincade.

As a redshirt senior, Tillery led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in rushing yards (1,665), rushing touchdowns (13), all-purpose yards (1,972) and total touchdowns (15). He became the SWAC's all-time leading rusher this season during Southern's 41-34 road win at Alcorn State, surpassing Jackson State's Destry Wright. Tillery, who is a two-time All-SWAC 1st Team selection and two-time leader in rushing yards, set a career high rushing for 245 yards on Nov. 12 at Prairie View A&M. 


The McKinley High product finished his illustrious Jaguar career rushing for 4,857 yards and 45 touchdowns. He set a new Southern single season rushing record eclipsing Odie Posey's 70-year-old mark. Tillery also finished as the only running back in program history to rush for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.

The Finalists were chosen by a five-member Selection Committee, which is composed of Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, Sheridan Broadcast Network’s Director of Sports Ty Miller, former USA Today sports writer Roscoe Nance, and ESPN College Football Analyst Jay Walker.

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees, we congratulate the inaugural Black College Football Player of the Year Finalists,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “These student-athletes represent the best of HBCU Football today.”

The winner of the 2016 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on February 25, 2017 at the Eighth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy, named in honor of the football legend and inaugural BCFHOF inductee.

“Players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities have had a tremendous impact on the game of football,” said BCFHOF founder and 2012 inductee James Harris. “This award will allow us to highlight the great student athletes from today’s HBCUs and recognize them in front of the legends that paved the way.” 

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