Monday, May 23, 2005
NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State University football player Charles Anthony has received the prestigious honor of being selected as the Ohio Valley Conference 2004-05 Male Athlete of the Year. Anthony becomes the first Tiger football player and the second student-athlete from TSU to earn the honor. The running back joins former basketball player Carlos Rogers who received the honor in 1994. "This is a great honor to receive," said Anthony, who is currently in the Tennessee Titans mini-camp, after signing a free-agent contract with the NFL club. "I am very appreciative to all those who have helped me in my career at TSU." Anthony was a two-time consensus I-AA All-American and fifth-place finisher in Walter Payton Award balloting for each of the last two seasons. He was named the 2004 OVC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the nation in rushing average (158.1 ypg) while topping the 1,700-yard mark for the second consecutive season and recording the third-highest rushing yardage total in OVC history, re-setting his own school record with 1,739 yards on 306 carries. A native of Orlando, Fla., he also had 318 receiving yards, ranking first in the league and second nationally in all-purpose average (187.0 ypg). He scored 14 rushing and two receiving touchdowns to rank second in the OVC in scoring (8.7 ppg). A team captain and two-time All-OVC first team selection, Anthony finished his career as the league's second all-time leading rusher with a TSU-record 5,057 yards. In addition to being named OVC Offensive Player of the Year, he was named the Sheridan Broadcasting Network Offensive Player of the Year, presented annually to student-athletes from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Anthony signed a free-agent contract with the Titans shortly following the NFL draft in April. Anthony is joined by Eastern Illinois volleyball player Erica Gerth, who was selected as the 2004-05 OVC Female Athlete of the Year. The two winners will receive their awards at the annual OVC Honors Luncheon on June 3 in Nashville. The OVC Athletes of the Year were chosen by a vote of the league's athletic directors and sports information directors. The OVC began presenting the OVC Male Athlete of the Year in 1977. Anthony is the eighth football player to receive the award and just the third since 1993.