Local College Awards

Dontae Balfour

Charlotte 49ers |

Dontae Balfour is a 6’2” sophomore defensive back from Starke, Florida. Balfour attended Bradford High School and was rated a four-star prospect by 247sports and ranked as the nation’s No. 17-rated cornerback by 247Sports. Balfour had 201 tackles over three seasons with 14 interceptions and 12 pass break-ups and earned first-team All-First Coast by as a senior and is credited with 77 tackles with four INTs and two PBU to help Bradford to the second round of the state 4A playoffs. Balfour also caught 25 passes for 386 yards and scored two TDs.

Balfour competed in three varsity high school sports and was a state qualifier in the 300-meters and triple jump. He also averaged over 20.0 points per game in basketball as a senior.

Before joining Charlotte, Balfour played two seasons at North Carolina Chapel Hill and saw action in four games in 2022 collecting six tackles (five solo) in the season-opener vs. Florida A&M. Balfour also played in ACC tilts vs. Virginia Tech and Miami (Fla.) and in two games as a true freshman in 2021 vs. Georgia State and Wofford. Through seven games this season with Charlotte, Balfour has amassed 32 total tackles, including an 8-tackle performance against Florida on September 23. Balfour is also credited with one forced fumble.

Benari Black

Johnson C. Smith |

Linebacker 6-2, 215 – Junior Charlotte, NC

Benari Black is a 6’2” Junior from Charlotte, North Carolina. Black attended West Charlotte High School and played for coach Joshua Harris. As a prep senior, Black was credited with 123 tackles (66 solo), including three tackles for loss. Black also tallied 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, and a pair of quarterback hurries. Black tallied 10 or more tackles in six games, including a season-best 22 stops (8 solo) against Vance. Before joining the Johnson C. Smith University Golden Bulls, Black attended UNC Pembroke where he played in six games and is credited with a total of 26 tackles.

Through eight games this season with JCSU, Black has amassed 70 total tackles, including 10.0 tackles for loss as well as a spectacular 15-tackle performance against West Va. Wesleyan. Black also has 1 sack to his credit so far this season. Black is the son of Maria and Ben Black and has a younger brother, Benjamin, and a younger sister, Bella-Marie. Black maintained a 3.2 cumulative grade point average at West Charlotte High School and lists his hobbies as hanging out with his family and listening to music. Black proudly names his parents as his heroes and his favorite sports team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Black’s favorite food is ribs and was enrolled in pre-major studies at UNCP.

Gilbert Deglau

Davidson |

Offensive Lineman 6-5, 285 – Senior Richmond, Va.

Gilbert Deglau is a 6’5” 285 offensive lineman from Richmond, VA, and has started every game this season. In 2022 Deglau appeared in all 12 Wildcat games and anchored an offensive line that led Davidson to the nation’s top rushing offense for the third consecutive year. Deglau was a 2022 Second Team All-PFL Selection and was named to the 2022 Phil Steele / Draft Scout FCS Postseason All-Conference Second Team. Deglau was also named to the Pioneer Football League (PFL) Academic Honor Roll. In 2021 Deglau appeared in eight games on the offensive line and helped lead the Wildcats to the nation’s top rushing offense, averaging 336 yards per game on the ground. Deglau was also named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll. In 2020-21, Deglau saw action in the FCS Playoff game at Jacksonville State (4/24). A 2020 graduate of the Collegiate School, Deglau played football under Coach Mark Palyo and was a two-time second-team All-State selection (2018-19). Deglau was a two-time All-Conference Team honoree (2018-19) and was honored as his team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player in 2019 while also serving as a team captain. While in high school, Deglau was also a member of the track and field team. Born June 1, 2001, Delau is the son of Maggie and Eric Deglau and has two sisters; Ellie and Gabi.

Brendan Jackson

Gardner-Webb |

Linebacker 6-2, 220 – Junior

Statesboro, Georgia

Brendan Jackson is a junior linebacker from Statesboro, Georgia and is in his second season with the Runnin’ Bulldogs. In his first season, Jackson played in 10 games, recording 25 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. During the 2022-23 season, he was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week on October 24, after recording five tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack at Charleston Southern.

So far this season, Brendan is third on the team in tackles, with 49 total, along with five tackles for loss and two sacks. He also scored his first career rushing touchdown, lining up at running back and powering his way into the endzone for a one-yard touchdown vs Elon.

Brendan spent his first year at Savannah State where he played in all 10 games and finished with a team-high 37 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles. He was also named SIAC Newcomer of the Week after posting seven tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble vs. Kentucky State. Brendan spearheaded a defense that was ranked No. 7 nationally among Division II programs, allowing just 250.0 yards per game and 17.6 points per game.

Jackson attended Statesboro High School where he played football and was selected to play in the 2019 Broder Blitz Bowl against the All-Stars from South Carolina. Brendan was selected as a 2023 team captain. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism.

Jakarri Martin II

Catawba |

Defensive Back 5-10, 180 – Freshman Atlanta, Ga.

Jakarri Martin II is a 5’10” freshman defensive back from Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Langston Hughes High School. Through his first eight games with the Catawba Indians, Martin has racked up 54 total tackles, eight pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Single game highlight includes a seven-tackle and six-tackle assist performance against Tusculum.

A four-year varsity letter winner in high school at Langston Hughes HS, Martin received First Team All-Region and Second Team All-State recognition while helping the Panthers to the 6A Georgia Football State Championship as a senior. He also excelled in track, earning the 6A state title in 4×200 relay.

Martin, who has yet to declare a major, is the son of Jakarri Martin and Yolanda Weems. His father played both football and baseball at Morris Brown College before continuing on to semi-professional football and minor league baseball careers.

Daniel Morrison

Wingate University |

Defensive Tackle

6-2, 285 Redshirt Senior

Monroe, NC

Daniel Morrison is a 6’2” 285 lb. redshirt senior defensive tackle from Monroe, NC. Morrison is one of the top defenders in the South Atlantic Conference. Through nine games this season, Morrison has accumulated five sacks, 38 total tackles and eight tackles for loss.

Morrison had a season-high eight tackles against Tusculum. Morrison is a team captain who had two QB sacks each in victories over Emory & Henry and Erskine. In a homecoming contest against Limestone, Morrison collected six tackles and his first interception of the season.

Morrison hails from Monroe, NC, and attended Parkwood High School. In the classroom, Morrison is an exercise science major.

Marquise Fleming

Wingate University |

Defensive End
6-1, 230 · redshirt sophomore
Charlotte, NC

Wingate University redshirt sophomore defensive end Marquise Fleming is listed in the NCAA Division II Top 20 in tackles for loss (13.5) and quarterback sacks (6.5) entering the last month of the 2022 season. Fleming opened South Atlantic Conference play with a huge Tusculum game recording nine tackles, seven of those being solo, three QB hurries, three QB sacks, and three tackles for loss.
Thanks to the play of Fleming and his teammates, Wingate is No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 9.29 points per game. The Bulldogs lead the SAC in rushing defense, passing defense, and scoring defense.
At Wingate, Fleming has played in 14 games, recording 59 total tackles, 22 solo, and 37 assisted tackles.
Fleming is 6’1” and 230 pounds. He is from Charlotte, NC, and attended Olympic High School. In the classroom, Fleming is a finance major with a management minor.

Kaedon Jenkins

Davidson College |

6-0, 195 · senior
Jacksonville, Al

Kaedon Jenkins is a senior cornerback from Jacksonville, Alabama. Three games into this season, Jenkins accumulated nine total tackles including two TFLs and broken up five passes.
He played in all 11 games for the Wildcats his junior season, tallying 43 total tackles, 31 of them solo. Additionally, he recorded two TFLs and nine pass breakups. As a sophomore, Jenkins made 25 tackles, and 21 solos with six pass breakups, and closed out the season on defense in his hometown in Davidson’s first FCS playoff appearance in program history. His freshman year saw him start in two games with an interception, 15 tackles and an appearance on the PFL Academic Honor Roll.
Off the field, Jenkins is studying computer science and is a member of the competitive coding team at Davidson. Additionally, he is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and participates in Davidson Football’s P.A.C.E. Initiative – where student-athletes seek to deal with social injustice through progress, advocating, cooperating, and educating.

Tray Dunson

Gardner-Webb University |

6-2, 221 · senior
Franklin, GA

Tray Dunson is a senior linebacker for the Bulldogs. At 6’2, 221 pounds, Dunson is one of the Big South’s most athletic linebackers. Dunson has played in 27 career games at Gardner-Webb with 63 total tackles. Dunson is in his second year as a full-time starter and has played in 9 games with 22 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception return for 46 yards.
In the fall 2021 season, Dunson started the season opener at Georgia Southern, where he had four tackles, 3 of them solo. Dunson was subsequently injured, qualifying him for a redshirt. During the spring of the 2021 season, Dunson had 22 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, half a sack, and one pass breakup during the spring season. As a freshman, he played in 10 games with 15 tackles and a sack.
Dunson hails from Franklin, GA, and played at Heard County High School, where he helped the team earn a 13-2 record and won the Class 2A State Championship. He was a two-time All-Region selection at receiver and finished his senior season with 40 tackles on defense.

Chris Reynolds

Charlotte University |

5-11, 202 · senior
Mocksville, NC

Chris Reynolds, of Mocksville, North Carolina, is the all-time Charlotte 49ers leading passer. Reynolds has been the team captain for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. During his time as quarterback, Reynolds has a career total of 9271 passing yards and 76 passing touchdowns. Reynolds boasts six fourth-quarter/overtime game-winning drives in his career and four game-winning touchdown passes in the final minute or overtime in his career.
Reynolds has earned many awards throughout his college career, which include three-time Maxwell Award Watch List for college football’s top player, a three-time Manning Award Watch List, a two-time Watch Lister for the Davey O’Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Reynolds is a former walk-on that was recognized as a 2021 Burlsworth Trophy Semifinalist, which is awarded to the top college player that began their career as a walk-on.
Reynolds has also achieved success in the classroom as a member of the 2021 Conference USA All-Academic Team.

Calvin Stephens

Catawba College |

Defensive back
6-0, 200 · redshirt sophomore
Salisbury, NC

Calvin Stephens is a defensive back from Bessemer City, NC, and is in his third year with the Catawba football team. Stephens is a 6’, 200 pounds, redshirt sophomore for Catawba. He has played in 16 career games with the Indians and recorded 25 solo tackles and 16 tackle assists for 39 tackles while in a Catawba uniform. Stephens also has two interceptions and five pass breakups.
In this 2022 season, Stephens had a high of 6 total tackles at Marshall Hill. Of those tackles, he had 2 solo, and 4 assisted. Against Shorter, Stephens had 4 solo and 1 assisted tackle.
In his second year, he played 9 games for the Indians and recorded 15 tackles and 6 tackle assists for a high of 21 tackles. In Stephens’s first year with the Catawba football team, he had 2 solo tackles and 2 tackle assists for a total of 4 tackles.

Tyrell Jackson

Johnson C. Smith |

6-2, 200 · Junior
Easley, SC

Tyrell Jackson is a 6’2” Junior from Easley, South Carolina. Jackson attended Wren High School and is a quarterback for the Johnson C. Smith University Golden Bulls.
This 2022 season Jackson has a total of 1240 yards. Jackson’s longest pass was for 86 yards at Chowan University. Jackson has a total of 6 touchdowns through mid-season, with a career-high of 2 passing touchdowns at Chowan. He also had a career-high of 371 passing yards at Bluefield State University.
Against Lincoln University, Jackson threw for 211 yards on 17-of-29 passes and a touchdown. When the Golden Bulls played Shaw University, Jackson put up 259 yards, and a touchdown. The Golden Bulls put together 325 yards of total offense, including 66 on the ground and 259 through the air against Shaw.

Reggie Bryant

Johnson C. Smith University |

Luke Cerasi

Catawba College |

Luke Martin

Charlotte 49ers |

Ryder Martin

Wingate University |

James Ellis, II

Gardner-Webb University |

Cole Foley

Davidson College |