NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State seniors Ronald Butler and Kevin Kenton will play in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 15, in Virginia Beach, Va., which includes many of the top seniors from HBCU institutions. The game can be seen on Comcast Sports Network (CSN) Mid-Atlantic. CSN is located at 642 on DIRECTV and 424 on Dish Network.
The athletes began the week participating in a combine ran by NFL and CFL scouts. Professional scouting reports were prepared for each player by Optimum Scouting. The players were separated in two teams, the Brave and the Pride, and completed four full practices in front of NFL/CFL teams for evaluation and in preparation for game. The two Tigers will be a part of the Brave team.
Butler played in all 11 games, starting the final eight at quarterback. He moved back to quarterback from wide receiver in the second quarter of the third game of the season due to a season ending injury to O’Shay Ackerman-Carter. As a starter at quarterback, Butler finished 137-of-234 for 2,014 yards, averaging 251.8 yards per game which would place him 21st in FCS and 2nd in the OVC.
On the season, the signal caller led all OVC QB’s in total touchdowns, 28 (21 passing, six rushing and one receiving), he also caught a 2-Point conversion. Butler led the OVC and was 14th in the FCS in Passing Efficiency (147.8), ranked nationally in passing touchdowns (26th, 21), yards per completion (9th, 14.41), yards per pass attempt (13th, 8.33), total offense (44th, 237.1) and 17th in points responsible for (170) and points responsible for per game (15.5).
The Tallahassee, Fla. product finished second, only to Murray State running back Devin Church, in conference games rushing, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and was the top rushing quarterback in conference games. Butler finished second in passing and total offense in the OVC, while engineering three last minute drives for wins.
Kenton started all 11 games at right guard and was named Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference. A mainstay on the offensive line for the top scoring team in the OVC, averaging 32.3 points per game, Kenton helped the offense generate 415.1 yards per game and topped the OVC at 6.6 yards per play. The line allowed an OVC low, 14 sacks.