The Aeneas Williams Award Preseason Watch List Includes Khalil Baker and Javan Morgan Among 19 Athletes

The Aeneas Williams Award named its 2023 preseason watch list including last season's honoree, Khalil Baker, among 19 athletes.

The Aeneas Williams Award is presented annually to the nation’s top HBCU defensive back based on on-field play, character, and athletic ability. On Wednesday, the Aeneas Williams Award announced its preseason watch list athletes including last season’s award winner: Khalil Baker.

Aeneas Williams Award Preseason Watch List

Entering the 2023 college football season, one thing is for sure: The level of play among all the HBCU schools has risen, significantly. As such, the Aeneas Williams Award, though in just its second year of existence, is a coveted honor for both the individual and the school he represents.

MORE: What is the Aeneas Williams Award?

The 2023 Preseason Watch List for the Aeneas Williams Award appointed 19 athletes across the entire Historically Black Colleges and Universities level.

  • Khalil Baker, North Carolina Central
  • Kendall Bohler, Florida A&M
  • Jordan Carter, Southern
  • Kriston Davis, Southern
  • Carlvainsky Decius, Morgan State
  • Kenny Gallop Jr, Howard
  • Josh Green, Tennessee State
  • Esaias Guthrie, Jackson State
  • Romell Harris-Freeman, Delaware State
  • Omari Hill-Robinson, Bethune-Cookman
  • Robert Jones III, Howard
  • Adrian Maddox, Alabama State
  • Chauncey Moore, Alabama State
  • Javan Morgan, Florida A&M
  • Byron Perkins, Hampton
  • Bryce Phillips, Tennessee State
  • Karon Prunty, North Carolina A&T
  • Manny Smith, North Carolina Central
  • Jordan Toles, Morgan State

Who Won the Aeneas Williams Award in 2022?

Hoping to repeat in winning the award, North Carolina Central’s Khalil Baker was named the first Aeneas Williams Award winner last season. He capped his season by winning the Defensive Player of the Game honors at the 2022 Celebration Bowl against Jackson State and was dominant all season long.

He stood out for NCCU all year, earning several other awards including FCS All-American First-Team, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and the Aeneas Williams Award en route to helping North Carolina Central to the 2022 MEAC Championship.

Baker recorded nine pass breakups to go with four interceptions and had a whopping 43 solo tackles on the outside. He was named to the 2023 preseason watch list for the prestigious award after returning for his senior season at NCCU.