Two Former Hudson Valley Football Players Recognized Among the Nation's Best in Division I-AA

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, June 18, 2003

The Sports Network has recognized former Hudson Valley Community College football players Derrick Black and Gary Jones as being two of the top NCAA Division I-AA players at their respective positions for the 2003 football season.

Black, a senior at Appalachian State University, is cited as the sixth best cornerback in the country. He finished with 42 tackles and 14 pass break ups a year ago for the Mountaineers. He also scored two touchdowns and a defensive extra point.

"Derrick Black is a guy who emerged as a standout player midway through last season," said Tony Moss, the Executive Director of I-AA football for The Sports Network. "He appeared on several national highlight shows after his defensive two-point conversion helped turn a loss against Furman into a win in the closing seconds. He has outstanding speed and is regarded as one of the best cover men in the country."

Jones, a senior at the University at Albany, is rated as the sixth best running back in the country. He was named the Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,509 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.

"Gary Jones plays for a Division I-AA mid-major team in Albany, so his profile has taken a little bit longer to develop," said Moss. "Gary made his name at the end of last season when he ran all over Duquesne in the ECAC Football Classic. Duquesne was an undefeated top-25 team before Gary's big day. I would expect him to be on the initial watch list for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in Division I-AA football."

The Sports Network is widely considered the country's top media source for Division I-AA football. The organization produces a weekly top-25 poll and presents the Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan awards, which are given annually to the nation's top offensive and defensive player, respectively.