“There’s Not A Conspiracy Against Drafting HBCU Players” | Dallas Cowboys VP Of Player Personnel Will McClay Disagrees With Deion Sanders’ Claim

Colorado head football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has been very vocal about HBCU players getting a fair opportunity in the NFL.

During his three-year tenure as the head coach of the Jackson State Tigers, Coach Prime was always pushing for inclusivity for HBCU players when it comes to being invited to the NFL combine, pro days and the actual draft. 

After seeing four HBCU players get their names called in 2022, 2023 wasn’t so kind as only one player from an HBCU was chosen.

And the number of free agents signed to teams weren’t nearly as abundant as last year. That led Sanders, who’s prepping for his first season at the helm of the Buffaloes, to lash out on Twitter, saying he was “ashamed.”

He then tweeted this caption with a picture of the only player drafted from an HBCU, his former player Isaiah Bolden. 

Bolden Agreed With Sanders, McClay Offered A Rebuttal

The New England Patriots chose Bolden, the talented cover corner, with the 245th overall pick, making him the only HBCU player to hear his name called during the three-day festivities. 

But even he sees a problem in how players from HBCUs are viewed. He expressed his feelings on Twitter, and he agreed with his former coach. 

“Only time I’ll speak on this, I agree 1000% with Sanders statement. I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity to be selected by the Patriot, let’s go to work.”

Sanders and Bolden’s comments received some pushback from Dallas Cowboys VP of player personnel William McClay. 

“Deion’s doing a great job of promoting HBCUs and promoting Colorado and all those things,” McClay told Cowboys Country. “And so that’s part of what the deal is — he wants to see players drafted. We want to draft good players and good football players come from everywhere. 

“There’s not a conspiracy against drafting HBCU players. We’re looking for players that can come from anywhere. I think that we’ve had the opportunities in the NFL in having things to highlight the HBCU schools.”

20 HBCU Players Sign UDFA Deals

One good sign was 20 former HBCU players were able to sign undrafted free agent deals. While it’s still less than the 28 who picked up deals in 2022, it’s not a complete dropoff from the previous year. 

Black college football supporters would like to see more players drafted, but when you consider only one player had their name called, getting 20 more oppportunities through free agency is a win for HBCUs. 

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