Arkansas-Pine Bluff defensive end Brandon Thurmond and linebacker Bill Ross have been named to the SBN Sports Black College All-American Team.
Thurmond receives another high honor in connection with his selection. SBN Sports has named him the Mel Blount Defensive Player of the Year for all of black college football, his fourth defensive player of the year honor this postseason.
Thurmond and Ross will be honored during the 39th annual Black College All-American Awards Brunch and Black College Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, both to be held Feb. 16 in Atlanta.
Thurmond competed in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday. He also has been selected for two SWAC defensive player of the year awards, one by the conference and another by The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., and was named the Boxtorow Defensive Player of the Year after leading all NCAA divisions in sacks with 17.5. Thurmond will pick up his Pigskin Club award at a ceremony on Feb. 2, where his coach Monte Coleman is being honored as its SWAC coach of the year.
Ross led the SWAC in tackles this past season with 117. He was named the most outstanding defensive player of UAPB’s 24-21 overtime victory over Jackson State in the SWAC championship game.
SBN, or Sheridan Broadcasting Network, also will honor Winston-Salem (N.C.) State as the black college football national champion, its coach Connell Maynor as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and its quarterback Kameron Smith as the Doug Williams Offensive Player of the Year during its Feb. 16 festivities. UAPB finished second only to Winston-Salem in the poll that determines the black college national champion.