Protect Your Skull, LLC. and HBCU Gameday FCS and Division II National Players of the Year.

Each year, these remarkable athletes showcase not only their exceptional skills but also their dedication, leadership, and passion for the game. They embody the spirit of resilience and perseverance, inspiring fans, teammates, and aspiring athletes alike.

According to Protect Your Skull co-founder Tracey Suggs, “This is one of the few opportunities that athletes from historically black colleges and universities get the chance to be nationally recognized for their excellence. “The award appropriately reflects not only their great performances on the field but is also a testament to great character, leadership, integrity, discipline, and work ethic.”

The Protect Your Skull and HBCU Gameday Players of the Year are selected by a ten-member panel. Below is a history of winners:

2017 Players of the Year

OFFENSE – Amir Hall – QB – Bowie State
DEFENSE – Darius Leonard – LB – South Carolina State

2018 Players of the Year

OFFENSE – Amir Hall – QB – Bowie State
DEFENSE – Daryus Skinner – DB – Winston-Salem State

2019 Players of the Year


OFFENSE – Jah-Maine Martin – RB – North Carolina A&T
DEFENSE – Rico Kennedy – LB – Morgan State


OFFENSE -Ja’rome Johnson – QB – Bowie State University
DEFENSE – Joshua Pryor – DL – Bowie State

2021 Players of the Year


OFFENSE – Sheduer Sanders – QB – Jackson State
DEFENSE – James Houston – LB – Jackson State


OFFENSE – Calil Wilkins – RB – Bowie State
DEFENSE – Stephan Pierre – LB – Albany State

Check back soon for more details and in-depth profiles of our Player of the Game award winners.