ATLANTA — Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, the AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen have been honored by the Black College Football Hall of Fame as their top pro players for 2018.
The award, announced Wednesday, recognizes the most outstanding professional football player from a historically black college and university. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea was selected as the inaugural recipient in 2017.
Leonard played at South Carolina State and was selected by the Colts in the second round of last year’s draft. He finished his rookie season with an NFL-high 163 combined tackles (111 solo), eight pass deflections, seven sacks and one interception. His 163 tackles broke the franchise record and helped Leonard make the All-Pro team.
Cohen attended North Carolina A&T and was drafted in the fourth round in 2017. During the 2018 season, Cohen rushed for 444 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 71 catches for 725 yards and five touchdowns, along with a league-leading 411 punt-return yards. He was an All-Pro as a punt returner.
The awards were voted on by a selection committee featuring NFL front office members and media members.