During a Kentucky high school playoff game, Landon Board could barely see the end zone from where he was standing.

Class 5A Owensboro High School was backed up on their own 1-yard line against Greenwood High School.

All head coach Jayson Fallin wanted to do was get the offense a little breathing room by calling a simple off-tackle play for Board that he hoped would translate into a five-yard gain.

Instead, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound junior running back took it 99 yards for a score.

The run was just one example, said Fallin “of dozens and dozens” of great runs during his time at Owensboro.

“He’s a very incredible player,” the head coach said.

The touchdown capped off a season in which Board tallied 1,804 yards and 24 TDs.

As a senior, Board continued his prep success by rushing for 27 touchdowns and 1,805 yards on 196 attempts.

But even though Board completed his high school career as Owensboro’s second all-time leading rusher and was an honorable mention on the 2016 Associated Press Kentucky All-State football team, the college scholarship offers have been hard to come by.

“I know I have the talent to play,” he told HBCU Sports. “It’s frustrating.”

Though there has been some small school interest in Board, according to Fallin, the running back was unable to secure a solid football scholarship overture.

“We’ve worked very hard to give him exposure to many colleges as possible,” said Fallin. “He’s very dedicated to working hard and becoming a better player, which everyone knows is a big part of the equation.”

Board’s mother, ShaLanda Williams, said she’s sent an estimated 800 emails to coaches across the country about her son, who has only received invitations to walk-on even though he’s performed well at various football camps.

One theory to explain the lack of significant interest in Board is that he happens to live in an eastern Kentucky city home to less than 60,000 people that doesn’t attract much national media attention or exposure regionally like Louisville or Lexington.

“Hopefully something will come about,” Williams said. “We don’t have a plan right now.”

Williams, who attended law school at Florida A&M, said her son has a deep interest in playing football at an HBCU.

“I’ve always been interested in black culture,” said Board, who listed North Carolina Central, Grambling State, North Carolina A&T and Alabama A&M as the schools he’d consider playing for. “I feel like an HBCU would be a fit for me.”

Playing football at an HBCU, or anywhere, would be meaningful for Board, who comes from a family of athletes, including his father, Lawrence Board, who recently battled leukemia.

In between football and school responsibilities during his junior season, Board and his mother would make routine trips to a Cincinnati hospital to visit his father while he underwent treatment.

“After every game, we would drive to the hospital to see his dad,” Williams said. “Landon would be in the room reading to him.”

Board said he uses his father as motivation to pursue a career in athletics.

“I would be the first one in family to play college football all four years,” he said. “All of us have been good at sports, but nobody has pursued it like I have.”

With a decision nearing on his post-high school football outlook, Williams said Board should place himself in a situation that is conductive to him achieving academic and athletic success.

“My advice to him was anything can happen with football,” she said. “If it comes down to walking on to a program, you want to go somewhere you like the quality of education. You want to make sure you’re at a university that you like.”

About The Author

Kendrick Marshall
Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor for HBCU Sports, award-winning journalist, and a graduate of Jackson State University.

6 Responses

  1. Julius Coxswain

    247 Sports lists him at 5’6.5″ and 177 pounds with a 4.66 40-yard dash time. If he can afford to do so, he will probably have to walk on. His height and weight are below average and 4.66 is pretty slow for someone his size. I wish this young brother nothing but the best though. It is always good to know that there are guys out there that want to play at an HBCU. He may be able to get fast and gain weight with the assistance of a strength coach.

    Reply
    • ShaLanda Williams

      Thank you for the feedback. The information on 247 sports is incorrect. I have contacted customer service at 247 sports to let them know they have incorrect information posted. He is 5’8 180 with a 4.53 40 time max squat 425 and 36.5 vertical all verified and documented.

      Reply
  2. Jacques Williams

    247sports is wrong. He is 5’8 his best 40 time is 4.53 which was documented at camp this past summer. I don’t know how 247sports came up with that information but if you have information on how to change the incorrect formation please share. THank you God bless

    Reply
  3. Lawrence Board

    We understand the concern with his vitals and knew this could pose as a challenge. His vitals are slightly off though. Due to this and a lack of exposure Landon plays with a chip on his shoulder and is determined to show and prove he belongs in the elite cartegory with the best. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave feedback.

    Reply
    • Razzie Smith

      Landon Board has it all. He’s a Complete packet!!! (Speed, Agility, Cutback Ability, Nice Size, Quickness, Dangerous Open Field Runner, Powerful Back, Can Burst threw Holes & Break Away from Defenders!
      I think this young man only needs an opportunity! The HBCU Conference Commissioners, AD’s, Head Football Coaches of (CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, SWAC) should recieve this information on the young man. ASAP!!!!
      That’s all he really wants! With this kind of talent he is worthy of an Athletic Scholarship as well! He’s needs “An OPPORTUNITY”!! to play as a Freshman! He reminds me of Cohen RB at N.C.A&T! HBCU Football teams, whoever steps up will get themselves an outstanding runningback!!!! This dude is ready to play now!

      Reply
  4. TeamRHO

    He may have a few options…Go to a good Juco program and get recruited from there. Or he could just go (walk-on) at a Div IAA/FCS program like MEAC or SWAC school and earn the scholarship. He looks talented enough to play. Right now the MEAC and SWAC (and other FCS) are scheduling more FBS schools and their rosters need to match up across the board. So the “eye test” is being used hard. Sports aren’t fair so he’s going to have to take everything, cause they aren’t going to give it to him….This happens everywhere for real…

    Reply

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