By Lut Williams
Scouts from all 32 NFL teams will descend on Metarie, Louisana on Monday, Feb. 20 for the 2023 HBCU Combine. Personnel from those same NFL will also stay in the New Orleans area for week-long workouts from an even larger group of HBCU standouts culminating with the Saturday, Feb. 25 HBCU Legacy Bowl.
Both events are put on by the Black College Football Hall of Fame, with co-founders, former Grambling and NFL quarterbacks James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams. The events are held in conjunction with the National Football League (NFL). Personnel from the Senior Bowl will also assist in the gathering of medical data and the running of the event.
The HBCU Combine, the second annual showcase of HBCU draft-eligible players, will be held at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center, the New Orleans Saints practice facility. The event will include many of the same features as the NFL Combine including the gathering of comprehensive medical information, interviews, and on-field evaluations of football skills and acumen.
Fifty (50) draft-eligible players from the CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, SWAC, Tennessee State, North Carolina A&T, Hampton, Langston and others will participate in the HBCU Combine. They will be looking to impress the scouts and make their way into the April 27-29 NFL Draft. The Combine could also be a stepping stone to NFL teams signing these players as undrafted free agents.
2023 HBCU COMBINE PARTICIPANTS
Kemari Averett, TE, Bethune Cookman
Brandon Barnes-Brown, S, Fayetteville Sttate
Raymond Boone, S, Bowie State
Darian Bryant, OG, Virginia Union
Drake Centers, OT, Texas Southern
Tarik Cooper, MLB, Texas Southern
Isaiah Cox, WR, Alabama A&M
A. J. Davis, RB, Florida A&M
Shaq Davis, WR, South Carolina State
Devin Doursseau, LB, Langston
Jason Dumas, DT, Southern
Estes Rey, DB, Grambling
Chris Faddoul, P, Florida A&M
Andrew Farmer, Edge, Lane
Jalen Fowler, QB, North Carolina A&T
Dion Golatt Jr., QB, Bowie State
Alfonso Graham, RB, Morgan State
Darius Hagans, RB, Virginia State
Larry Harrington, QB, Langston
Corione Harris, DB, Southern
Jerrish Hasley, WR, Delaware State
J. J. Holloman, WR, Tennessee State
Keenan Isaac, DB, Alabama State
Tyler King, RB, Edward Waters
MORE HBCU COMBINE PARTICIPANTS
Robert Lacey, OL, Tennessee State
Ricky Lee, OT, North Carolina A&T
Zach Leslie, WR, North Carolina A&T
Jordan Lewis, OLB, Southern
Devon McCoy, TE, Clark Atlanta
Jermaine McDaniel, DE, North Carolina A&T
Robert Mitchell, OL, North Carolina Central
KeShaun Moore, OLB, Hampton
Antoine Murray, WR, Howard
Brooks Parker, LB, Delaware State
Skyler Perry, QB, Arkansas – Pine Bluff
Camron Peterson, DT, Southern
Joshua Pryor, OLB/DE, Bowie State
Jacory Rankin, WR, Mississippi Valley State
Jose Romo-Martinez, PK, Florida A&M
Markel Scott, RB, Langston
Ali Shockley, DB, Hampton
Xavier Smith, WR, Florida A&M
Ronnie Thomas, Edge, Mississippi Valley St.
Derrick Tucker, S, Texas Southern
Kevin Victorian, DE, Prairie View A&M
De’Jahn Warren, DB, Jackson State
Maurice Washington, RB, Grambling
Brian Williams, OT, Southern
Dacquari Wilson, OC, North Carolina A&T
Emmanuel Wilson, RB, Fort Valley State
2023 HBCU LEGACY BOWL
Those players and more from the HBCU ranks will then participate in practices next week culminating with the Saturday, February 25 HBCU Legacy Bowl. The HBCU Legacy Bowl will be played at 3:00 p.m. at Yulman Stadium at Tulane University. The NFL Network will carry the game live.
The 49-man rosters will be divided into Team Gaither, named for legendary former Florida A&M head coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither and Team Robinson named for legendary former Grambling State head coach Eddie Robinson.
Players from the MEAC, CIAA, NC A&T and Hampton will play for Team Gaither. Players from the SWAC, SIAC, Tennessee State, Langston and others will play for Team Robinson.
The list of players to participate in the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl is here.
AMONG THE MISSING
Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive lineman Mark Evans II and Florida A&M defensive end Isaiah Land are the only two HBCU players invited to the February 28 through March 6 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. That list was released on Feb. 8. A total of 319 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s event.