The second annual HBCU Legacy Bowl played in New Orleans following the HBCU Combine that was well attended by pro football scouts is in the books. Here is what we learned after Saturday’s game.
The defensive line ruled the day
If there could be an alternate title for this year’s HBCU Legacy Bowl, it would probably be the “Defensive Line Takeover” as they were the stars of the show.
Multiple linemen stepped up to make big plays getting stops in the backfield, clogging running lanes, and beating offensive linemen in one-on-one matchups.
On Team Gaither, Bowie State’s Joshua Pryor and North Carolina A&T’s Jermaine McDaniel stood out. Pryor former finished the game with a loaded stat line of seven tackles, three tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks.
Meanwhile, Team Robinson was anchored by Southern pass rushers Cam Peterson and the game’s Defensive MVP Jason Dumas.
Xavier Smith shines on offense
Florida A&M star wide receiver Xavier Smith was the biggest star of the day in this year’s HBCU Legacy Bowl.
Smith finished the game with six receptions for 85 yards and scored the game’s only touchdown. He also made one of the best plays of the game catching a deep ball despite having a defensive back draped all over him.
What A Catch By FAMU WR Xavier Smith! @Shinetime_863 @FAMU_FB
📹: @nflnetwork @HBCULegacyBowl pic.twitter.com/wp8iSyHJU7
— LIGHT ON COLLEGE SPORTS (@LightOnSports) February 25, 2023
He was named the game’s Offensive MVP for his performance.
Quarterbacks showed poise
Despite being under pressure all game, HBCU Legacy Bowl quarterbacks overcame to make plays when need be.
Langston’s Larry “Tripp” Harrington was one of the top performers under center effectively showing off his versatility and moving the offense downfield.
Before Harrington entered the game, the Team Robinson offense had been stagnant. That was until Harrington came connected on a long pass to Smith for the game’s only touchdown.
Tripp Harrington showing off the rocket launcher again 👀 Xavier Smith playing cribbage 📈 pic.twitter.com/BLcBqnKEmV
— HBCU LEGACY BOWL (@HBCULegacyBowl) February 25, 2023
Bowie State’s Dion Golatt and Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback Skyler Perry also played well, showing off their ability to use their legs to escape the pocket while also making some well-timed throws.
Reaping the benefits of the HBCU Legacy Bowl
The HBCU Legacy Bowl has been of benefit to the players in more ways than just showcasing their talent on the field in the HBCU Combine and the game itself.
Some players took full advantage of the opportunity for televised interviews showcasing great character and personality to teams.
There were also opportunities for players to speak with NFL teams in attendance for the HBCU Combine.
In just the game’s second year, it is already accomplishing its goal of bringing awareness to HBCU athletes and giving them the support to be successful on and off the field.
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