By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]
America’s college football experts have taken note of Howard University’s talented trio of offensive weapons as preseason training camp kicks off at Greene Stadium. Quarterback Caylin Newton has been added to several national player watch lists, while receivers Kyle Anthony and Jequeze Ezzard have been named to a prestigious preseason all-American team.
Newton, the reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is on The College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) watch list for the 2019 CFPA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Player of the Year.
All FCS players are eligible for the award – a 22-inch K-9 optic crystal tower with an eight-inch crystal football – that will be presented next January. Newton is one of the 40 lower Division I players who will spotlighted throughout the season by the panel of voters that will select the winner. The Bison’ junior quarterback is also on the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award Preseason Watch List.
Last year Newton, brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, ended his sophomore year after taking the next step in his progress towards potentially becoming the best quarterback in school history. He finished the year ranked among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories. His 16.85 passing yards per completion was first in the nation he was seventh in total offense averaging 313.3 per game. He completed his second season as the MEAC’s top passer with 2,629 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games.
Newton also headlines a list of 10 Howard players named to Phil Steele’s 2019 Preseason FCS All-America team with his senior wide receiving combo. He was selected as Steele’s MEAC first team quarterback and it’s player of the year.
These teams were selected by NFL talent evaluator Phil Steele & the draftscout.com staff. Since 2001, Draftscout.com has been the gold standard industry leading database built for compiling & charting College Football Prospects from high school to the pros.
Anthony and Ezzard were the main contributors to Newton’s MEAC Player of the Year Award as targets in an explosive offense that was nationally ranked in 2018. Anthony led the conference in with 5.3 receptions per game and finished third in receiving yards by averaging 65.9 per game. Ezzard led the country in yards per reception 26.6 while setting a new school record for receiving yards with his 223-yard performance at Ohio University.
The other Howard Steele preseason All-MEAC and all-American candidates include Anthony, Ezzard, multi threat athlete Marcellos Allison, running back Dedrick Parson and junior tight end Malik Hyatt who were all projected to make the first team. Silver Spring’s Zamon Robinson is on the second team watch list.
Junior defensive back Tye Freeland, defensive lineman Aaron Motley, and Aaron Walker were projected for the third team.
Howard opens its first season under head coach Ron Prince on August 31 against the University of Maryland and its first year head coach Mike Locksley in College Park.