A Saturday in Mobile, Alabama represented a historic day for HBCU football players aspiring to play in the NFL.
The first-ever HBCU Combine — held at the University of South Alabama Jaguar Training Center in partnership with the Senior Bowl — provided rare collective exposure for 39 prospects from 22 Black colleges from across the country in front of all 32 NFL teams.
Here is a recap of what and who stood out:
Southern wide receiver Marquis McClain and Miles running back Kingston Davis were identified by NFL.com reporter Cameron Wolfe among the top performers of the day.
Alabama A&M wide receiver Dee Anderson, who lit up defenses during his stellar career as a Bulldog, was chronicled for his journey from an HBCU to performing in front of pro scouts.
“Just put me on the field and not see what I can do, he told Al.com. “I’ll show you what I can do.”
Mississippi Valley State lineman Jerry Garner was lauded as the player who “arguably had the best day of anyone there,” said DraftHBCURecruits writer Gerald Jerome Huggins.
Jerry Garner had a standout day today at the #HBCUCombine . Arguably had the best day of anyone there.
Broad Jump: 9’2
3 Cone: 7.28
Bench: 25 Reps
Had the quick twitch, fluid hips, bend, and acceleration through his position drills. @DraftHBCU pic.twitter.com/FQOWTL5UXc
— Bayi (@Gerald_Huggins) January 29, 2022
Virginia State defensive back Will Adams caught the attention of scouts after posting impressive numbers in several individual drills.
“Virginia State CB Will Adams has every NFL team doing more homework,” wrote Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy on Twitter. “That’s exactly what this event was all about.”
Former longtime NFL executive Scott Pioli raved about Florida A&M FCS All-American Keenan Forbes.
“He put on a show for these scouts that are out here watching,” said Pioli, who was the architect of three Super Bowl championship teams.
Solid showing from Keenan Forbes out of @FAMU_FB today at the #HBCUCombine . The two-time All American and big-man moved well in drills and I’m thinking he’s a player that will start to get extra looks from #NFL teams @forbes_keenan pic.twitter.com/r3qKViFTCU
— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) January 30, 2022
Overall, it was a good day for HBCU football players to showcase they belonged and should have been given this long overdue opportunity.
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