Grambling defender Christian Anthony earns another national honor

Christian Anthony’s remarkable season continued last week, as he earned the Sheridan Broadcasting Network’s Mel Blount Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Anthony, in his junior year of eligibility, was also named preseason all-Southwestern Athletic Conference, four-time league defensive player of the week, two-time Louisiana Sports Writers Association statewide defensive player of the week, Bayou Classic XXXVI most valuable player and then SWAC defensive player of the year, a finalist for the Buck Buchanan national FCS defensive player of the year award, to the 2009 American Football Coaches Association FCS Coaches’ All-America Team, and third team FCS All-American by The Associated Press.

All of that might have led Anthony to test the NFL market, but he has already committed to returning for another year at Grambling.

“I really want to come back,” Anthony told me, “and not just to come back but to come back and increase my strength, mentally to get better prepared for the NFL. I’m not worried about injuries. I know that comes if it comes. All I’ve got to do is keep focused, keep praying — and keep working hard.”

That must send shivers down the spine of SWAC offensive coaches everywhere. Can Christian Anthony actually get better?

After all, he led the SWAC in solo tackles (55), and was tied for sixth in the league with 76 total tackles. Anthony was third in the conference in sacks (8.0), second in tackles for loss (15.0), and was the only defensive linemen in the country with five interceptions — two of them returned for touchdowns. He also led the SWAC in forced fumbles (five) and fumbles recovered (three).

Perhaps most interesting was his 12-tackle day against then-BCS Top 25 team Oklahoma State.

“Christian Anthony, he can play with anybody,” Grambling coach Rod Broadway said after that game. “He proved that Saturday. He was all over the place.”

The 36th annual SBN Sports Black College All-American Awards, held at the Doubletree Resort in Orlando, Florida, was co-hosted by Ty Miller, SBN Director of Sports. The keynote address was delivered by ESPN analyst and NFL Hall of Fame nominee Cris Carter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris presented the SBN Doug Williams Offensive Player of the Year award to Prairie View A&M quarterback KJ Black. Williams was in Grambling for the long-awaited opening a museum honoring his former college coach, Eddie Robinson.

Black’s coach Henry Frazier III received the SBN Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award for the second consecutive year. South Carolina State was named 2009 SBN Jake Gaither Black College National Champions.

Anthony’s honor was presented by former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Greg Lloyd.

PROGRAM ON COACH ROB
Charlie Whinham of Louisiana Public Broadcasting is at work on a program devoted to Eddie G. Robinson, set to air on Friday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m. and Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. A preview is available here.

ROBINSON MUSEUM UPDATE
The Eddie G. Robinson Museum, which held its well-attended dedication ceremony on Feb. 13, has yet to announce regular hours. Crews continue to put the finishing touches on display items inside, the outer grounds and a number of safety-related issues involving handicapped access and handrails, among other things. Officials were determined, however, to hold ceremonies on the anniversary of Robinson’s birth — and during Black History Month. Museum officials hope to establish an operating schedule in March. The late coach would have been 91 this year.

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