The Reese’s Senior Bowl and NFL will host the HBCU Combine in a bid to maximize visibility for prospects from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The announcement follows one from the recent introduction of the HBCU Legacy Bowl, set to be staged following Super Bowl LVI.
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is honored to be collaborating with the National Football League to host the inaugural HBCU Combine in Mobile, Alabama, “said Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy.
NFL combine for the top players from HBCU schools will be held next January 👏🏾👏🏾 🗣Lets go!!
— James Slater (@MrJLSlater_1914) May 26, 2021
“Over the years the Senior Bowl has served as a showcase for some of the top Black college football players in America, including seven of our game’s 56 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and this event will help many more HBCU players secure further attention and exposure from all 32 teams.”
Players from the four HBCU conferences — CIAA, MEAC, SWAC and SIAC — and other HBCU schools will be welcomed to the University of South Alabama where a Scouting Committee of past and present league executives can obtain medical information, interviews, on-field evaluations of football skills and access acumen in a process similar to that of the NFL Combine.
This is very necessary considering the fact that’s HBCU athletes were unfathomably and completely shut out of the NFL Draft.
This year marked the ninth time since 2000 that no HBCU prospects were selected, prompting Jackson State head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders to express his frustration via social media, stating that HBC players had been “neglected and rejected.”
This event is designed to maximize visibility for HBCU players and follows on from the Black College Hall of Fame’s introductory of the HBCU Legacy Bowl, a postseason all-star game scheduled to take place at Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium on the Saturday following next year’s Super Bowl XVI.
“Throughout NFL history, HBCU athletes have exemplified a standard of excellence both on and off the field, “says Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
“The HBCU Combine is part of honoring that legacy and making every effort to accelerate the exposure of HBCU draft prospects to all NFL clubs. The game is better when we all have the opportunity to compete.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame currently includes 33 players of HBUC origin, including Mel Blount, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Michael Strahan, Harry Carson, Art Shell and Marion Motley.
Among HBCU products to be signed as undrafted free agents, Grambling guard David Moore, who was the highest-ranked HBCU prospect, landed with the Panthers, NCCU defensive back Bryan Mills was given a shot by the Seattle Seahawks and North Carolina A&T cornerback Mac McCain was picked up by the Denver Broncos.
In the end, Black college football has a lot of talent and many just need a chance to showcase their abilities.
New editions to the HBCU culture such as Coach Prime at Jackson State and now Eddie George at Tennessee State and new NFL-supported showcases should continue to boost visibility and marketability for Black College football programs.