CIAA Announces 2021 Preseason Football All-Conference Team and Predicted Order of Finish

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announces the 2021 All-CIAA preseason football team, as voted on by the CIAA Football Coaches Association and the Sports Information Directors Association, and the predicted order of finish as selected by the head football coaches. The preseason team and predicted order were both announced during the CIAA’s annual football media day.

The 2021 team features 21 returning players from the 2019 All-CIAA team, including 12 first teamers, led by Bowie State quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson, Bowie State defensive back Demetri Morsell, and Virginia Union place kicker Jefferson Souza. All three players earned CIAA Player of the Year honors for their respective units during the 2019 season.  

In his first 12 games as a starter, Johnson led the CIAA with a 151.9 pass efficiency rating and in total offense at 238 yards per game while tying for the league lead with 22 passing touchdowns. In 2019, Morsell led the conference with nine interceptions and four defensive returns for touchdowns (three INTs and one fumble), totals that led or tied for the lead in Division II. As a junior, Souza led all CIAA kickers with 15 made field goals on 16 attempts with a long of 49 yards, also tops in the league, with a nation-leading 93.8 field goal percentage in 2019.  

For the third time in as many years, Bowie State and Fayetteville State were picked by league coaches to repeat as Northern Division and Southern Division champions, respectively, and meet in the 2021 CIAA Football Championship Game, scheduled for November 13 in Salem, VA (Salem Stadium), with BSU being the unanimous pick to three-peat as conference champions. The predicted finish would set-up a rematch from the last two CIAA title games, including the most recent in 2019 that saw the Bulldogs defeat the Broncos, 23-7. 

Led by reigning CIAA Coach of the Year Damon Wilson, Bowie State finished 2019 with a 11-1 overall record (7-0 in the CIAA) with their lone loss coming in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs against Carson-Newman. Fayetteville State, coached by Richard Hayes, also posted a 6-1 conference record (8-3 overall), finishing 10th in Super Region Two for the second straight year in 2019.

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2021 Preseason All-CIAA Football Team

Tight End
Desmond Smith, Virginia Union 

Offensive Linemen
Greg Brooks, Fayetteville State* 
Jaylan Galloway, Fayetteville State+ 
David Keck, Chowan 
Tyrese Bobbitt, Shaw University 
Kendyl Graves, Winston-Salem State 

Wide Receivers
Charles Hall, Virginia Union* 
Imeek Watkins, Chowan+ 

Quarterback
Ja’rome Johnson, Bowie State*! 

Running Backs
Deshaun Wethington, Chowan* 
Sidney Gibbs, Shaw + 

Kick Returner
Zion Riddick, Elizabeth City State* 

Place Kicker
Jefferson Souza, Virginia Union* # 

Defensive Linemen
Keyshawn James, Fayetteville State* 
Joshua Pryor, Bowie State* 
Dast Sturkie, Shaw+ 
Javon Frazier, Virginia State+ 

Linebackers
Nigel Peele, Fayetteville State+ 
Kalen Allen, Winston-Salem State*  
Ta’Shaun Taylor, Winston-Salem State*  

Defensive Backs 
Demetri Morsell, Bowie State*$ 
Jaleel Scroggins, Shaw* 
Kevin Sherman, Shaw+ 
Joshua Flowers, Winston-Salem State+ 

Punt Returner
Jaiden Reavis, Virginia Union 

Punter
Kenny Amaya, Bowie State+ 

 * – Returning 2019 All-CIAA First Team selection 
+ – Returning 2019 All-CIAA Second Team selection
# – Returning 2019 CIAA Special Teams Player of the Year 
!  – Returning 2019 CIAA Offensive Player of the Year 
$ – Returning 2019 CIAA Defensive Player of the Year

2021 CIAA Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish 

  1. Bowie State* 
  2. Fayetteville State 
  3. Chowan 
  4. Virginia State 
  5. Virginia Union 
  6. Shaw 
  7. Elizabeth City State 
  8. Johnson C. Smith 
  9. Winston-Salem State 
  10. Lincoln (PA) 
  11. Livingstone  
  12. Saint Augustine’s  

*- unanimous choice 

North Division 

  1. Bowie State  
  2. Chowan 
  3. Virginia State  
  4. Virginia Union 
  5. Elizabeth City State 
  6. Lincoln (PA) 

South Division 

  1. Fayetteville State 
  2. Shaw 
  3. Johnson C. Smith 
  4. Winston-Salem State 
  5. Livingstone  
  6. Saint Augustine’s