By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The honors keep rolling in for Tennessee State wide receiver Chris Rowland. Last week he added TSU Athlete of the Year to the lengthy list of honors he’s received following one of the greatest seasons in college football history. Rowland set an HBCU record for receptions with 104, shattering the 103 mark of Jerry Rice, the Hall of Famer many feel is the finest player at his position in NFL history. Rowland was consensus choice for the OVC Offensive and Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year awards. He was picked on 12 All-American teams, and was the only player in either division of college football to score a touchdown on a kick return, punt return, rushing and reception in 2020.
The greatness of Rowland’s season is even more staggering when considering the fact he didn’t play every game. Due to injury, he only played 1 1/2 games in November. But despite missing out on the Tigers’ final contests, he still had 1,437 yards of receptions and averaged 119.8 yards per game. Those marks were first and second in the nation respectively. He had six 200-plus all purpose yards games, and six where he caught 10 or more passes. Rowland also led the OVC in receptions, yards gained by a wide receiver and all-purpose yards.
He was given the TSU Athlete of the Year honor at the annual awards banquet, which was held virtually. Assuming that training camp starts on time this summer, he will report to the Atlanta Falcons. He signed a free agent contract with them April 25.