ATLANTA, Ga. --- The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced Patrick Smith and Ebenezer “Ebo” Ogundeko to the 2017 Watch List for the Black College Football Player of the Year Award on Wednesday. The Award is in its second year and is presented to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University. Former North Carolina A&T and current Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2016.
Smith and Ogundeko are a part of a list of 50 players representing 27 different Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The winner of the 2017 Player of the Year Award will be honored with the Deacon Jones Trophy during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Feb. 10, 2018 in Atlanta. Four finalists will be unveiled on December 12.
Smith was named the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in July after leading the Tigers with 61 receptions for 966 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. The senior has caught a scoring pass in 17 of his 21 games in blue and is in the career top ten in the TSU record books for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Ogundeko has been a defensive threat during his two-year career. As a junior, Ogundeko recorded 5.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries and 11 tackles for loss in just eight games. The defensive end finished fifth on the team in tackles with 48. As a sophomore, Ogundeko totaled 52 tackles, 31 solos, with 10 tackles-for-loss including five sacks in nine games.
The Tigers open the 2017 season on Thursday, Aug. 31 in Atlanta, Ga. versus Georgia State.