Four Tigers Named To Black College Football HOF Player Of The Year Watch List

Published 3:47 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A quartet of Jackson State football players were named to the Black College Football Hall of Fame Player of the Year Award Watch List.

QB Shedeur Sanders, CB Travis Hunter, WR Malachi Wideman, and RS Isaiah Bolden were announced to the list today.

Sanders (6-2, 215; So. Canton, Texas) is coming off a banner season in which he won the Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award as the nation’s top freshman, named BOXTOROW National Impact Player Of The Year, SWAC Freshman of the Year, and was a second-team All-SWAC selection. Sanders led the conference in completions (272) and completion percentage (65.9) while ranking second in passing yards (3,231) and passing touchdowns (30). Sanders posted nine multi-TD passing games (two 2-TD, five 3-TD, two 4-TD) and three 300+ yard passing games as he led JSU to a school-record 11 wins.

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In 2022, Sanders has also been named to the Walter Payton Watch List for the top offensive player in FCS Football, BOXTOROW Preseason All-American, SWAC Preseason Player of the Year, and first-team Preseason All-SWAC.

Hunter (6-1, 175; Fr., Suwanee, Ga.) was the number one high school recruit in the country who signed in December and enrolled at Jackson State in January. In the Tigers’ spring game, he made two interceptions while also catching two touchdown passes. Earlier this year, Hunter was named Stats Perform FCS third-team Preseason All-American.

Wideman (6-5, 190; R-So., Venice, Fla.) tied for the 2021 SWAC lead in touchdown receptions with 12 while catching 34 passes for 540 yards. He caught a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns (13, 50) in the final six minutes in the 21-17 come-from-behind win at Southern to clinch SWAC East Championship.

Bolden (6-2, 205; Sr., Tampa, Fla.) led the nation (both FBS and FCS) in kickoff return average at 36.9 per attempt, tied for the FCS lead with two return touchdowns, and averaged 10.1 yards on seven punt returns. Bolden returned kickoffs for touchdowns vs. Bethune-Cookman (94 yards) and Prairie View A&M in SWAC Championship (91 yards).

Earlier this offseason, Bolden was named Preseason First-Team All-SWAC, second-team Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-American, and BOXTOTOW Preseason All-American. Last season, Bolden was a first-team All-SWAC selection, a second-team Stats FCS All-American, and BOXTOROW first-team All-American and National Special Teams Player Of The Year.

The defending 2021 Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Tigers open the season in the Orange Blossom Classic against Florida A&M on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. CT in Miami Gardens, Fla. on ESPN2.