Not long ago, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were filled with future NFL players. Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe… these colleges and universities fielded some of the greatest talent the NFL has ever seen. Today, most of the top black athletes receive scholarships to attend Division I and II NCAA schools programs with big budgets, more competitive programs, national media exposure, and experienced administrators.
Meanwhile, many top NFL draft prospects from HBCUs spend their college careers in relative obscurity. HBCU athletic programs simply can’t command the larger revenue/funding from TV networks and corporate marketing programs. With fewer coaches and budget dollars than conference colleges, HBCU players simply don’t get the attention they need, to be given a chance to play at the next level.
Our inaugural event, held in May 2010 set out to change this. We quickly realized that these athletes had tremendous pride in their athletic abilities and just needed to showcase their talents! Plus, many were perfect high potential candidates for consideration as U.S. Marines, Naval Special Warfare and Navy Special Operations trainees, should their NFL dreams become dashed. Their athletic abilities, mental toughness and intestinal fortitude makes them ideal prospects for service in our country’s military forces.