HBCU Legacy Bowl has numerous pros to watch – Crescent City Sports
📺: HBCU Legacy Bowl – Saturday (4pm ET) on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/fcvj6oo6hN
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 17, 2022
The HBCU Legacy Bowl will be held for the first time this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Yulman Stadium. It offers talent from predominantly black universities and colleges the opportunity to present themselves for professional scouts.
Players will be divided into two groups, Team Gaither, named after longtime Florida A&M head coach Jake Gaither, and Team Robinson, named after legendary grambling coach Eddie Robinson.
Team Gaither, made up of players from MEAC and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, is coached by South Carolina State’s Oliver “Buddy” Pough and Bowie State’s Damon Wilson.
Team Robinson’s players hail from SWAC and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association and are coached by Florida A&M’s Willie Simmons and Albany State’s Gabe Giordina.
HBCU institutions have inducted 34 former players into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Every fan knows Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Mel Blount and Michael Strahan, but so many have made their names with less fanfare.
Raiders cornerback Willie Brown and Dolphins offensive guard Larry Little were not drafted by an NFL team. Wide receivers Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright were both selected in the seventh round. Hall of Famer running back Le Roy Kelly was an eighth-round pick.
The HBCU Legacy Bowl will feature players who may be next to rise from relative obscurity to pro stardom.
Here are names to check out:
– QB/RB LaDarius Skelton (6-2, 226) Southern University
Arrived in Baton Rouge from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It’s versatile enough to play QB, RB or WR. He had a checkered career on the Bluffs but led the Jaguars to two wins at the Bayou Classic.
-RB Isaiah Totten (5-9, 195) North Carolina Central Eagles
With a speed of 4.54, but more fast than fast, he was prolific (2,418 rushing yards with 17 touchdowns averaging 4.9 yards per carry).
-RB Calil Wilkins (5-8, 210) Bowie State Bulldogs
Transferred from the state of West Virginia, where he was named 2017 Conference Freshman of the Year. He was a Harlan Hill Award nominee that season after rushing for 1,412 yards and 10 points.
– DT Savion Williams (6-4, 290) Florida A&M Rattlers
The Tennessee transfer has 6.5 sacks and a safety this season.
-OG/OC Jalen Powell (6-2, 305) State of Norfolk
Rarely allowed a sack during his 34 starts.
-QB Geremy Hickbottom (6-4, 209) Tennessee State Tigers
Joined from Grambling where he played in 11 competitions. Good arm and athletics.
-DT Antwan Owens (6-4, 290) Jackson State
The transfer from Georgia Tech is done quickly. He struck a ZERO deal with a hair products company.
-DE Chris Myers (6’6, 265) Norfolk State Spartans
Transferred from Middle Tennessee after two seasons. His older brother was the 2015 Ravens 5th round pick. He models his game after Washington’s Chase Young.
-WR Marquis McClain (6-3, 224, 4.55) Southern U
Last season, the Auburn transfer caught 29 passes for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns. Physically gifted, he is built like Adonis. He has great game potential.
– WR Ryan McDaniel (6-2, 215) North Carolina Central Eagles
Managed 52 catches for 678 yards and 4 points last season. Transfer from Tulsa models his game after Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins.
-RB Jah Maine-Martin (5’10, 215) North Carolina A&T Aggies
Had 522 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns this season, but in his breakout year 2019 he rushed for 1,246 yards and 20 points. Coastal Carolina’s transfer has stylistic traits resembling Marshawn Lynch. He eclipsed the Chicago Bears by running back Tarik Cohen’s school touchdown mark at NCA&T.
-DE Keyshawn James (6-2, 283) Fayetteville State Broncos
The Citadel transfer was a tight end at 235 pounds, but since changing positions he has amassed 228 career tackles, 28 sacks and 11 forced fumbles. Last season, he recorded 21 TFL and 10 sacks.
-LT Jay Jackson-Williams (6-4, 305) Florida A&M Rattlers
Florida State Transfer played tight end and caught 17 TD passes in high school and also recorded 33 TFL and 22 sacks on defense.
-OLB Kailon Davis (6-2, 237) Arkansas Pine Bluff Lions
Product of East St. John High in Reserve, La., originally played in the state of Arkansas for seven games.
-DT Christian Clark (6-1, 364) Alabama State Hornets
A stationary object in the middle, he was the first team all conference. Anyone need a 3-4 nose tackle?
-RB Ezra Gray (5-7, 174) Alabama State Hornets
He could be selected in the NFL draft on day three. He had 1,875 career rushing yards with nine scores, highlighted by 195 yards against Jackson State last season. Gray is showing good hands with 41 career catches for 256 yards.
-WR Trey Gross (6-4, 210) State of Delaware
Had 49 catches for 642 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Against North Carolina Central, he had a season-high 12 grabs for 142 yards and four points.
– LB Keonte Hampton (6-2, 220). A tackle machine with 484 career stops. Led the SWAC in Spring ’21 in tackles (57 stops), including a 15 tackle performance against Grambling.
– CB Trey Giles (6-0, 190) Miles College.
Very physical and versatile, he plays with a chip on his shoulder like he has something to prove. Modeled his game after Mel Blount and Deion Sanders.
– DT James Fagan (6’6, 280) Hampton Pirates
In an interesting career, he continued at Old Dominion and spent time in the Army National Guard. After playing at ODU O-Line, he switched to defensive tackle where he has steadily improved.
-OT Keenan Forbes (6-3, 330) Florida A&M Rattlers
Made All-SWAC after a transfer from Washington State to first team. Powerful run blocker.