The HBCU Combine began in earnest on Monday that provided an opportunity for top Black college football players to perform in front of NFL scouts.
While all 32 NFL teams did have a scout or player personnel official in attendance down in New Orleans for the combine and Saturday’s HBCU Legacy Bowl, one prominent franchise with a history of drafting HBCU players was represented by a general manager.
Omar Khan, the Steelers general manager, was the lone GM in attendance at the workouts.
“Congratulations for being here,” Khan told the players upon his arrival. “You should be proud, but remember all the scouts here didn’t come to celebrate Mardi Gras.”
Pittsburgh has a rich history of tapping into the HBCU football ranks to select players. During the glory years of the 1970s, the Steelers roster included players such as Donnie Shell, Mel Blount, and John Stallworth. Joe Gilliam, a Tennesee State product, was the first Black starting quarterback in franchise history. Most recently, Pittsburgh drafted Javon Hargrave from South Carolina State.