Full list of HBCU products currently on NFL rosters. Hampton leads the way with 8, Bethune-Cookman next with four.
Detroit Lions linebacker Justin Durant is one of eight former Hampton Pirates in NFL training camps this season.
Playing in the NFL is the goal of every kid that straps on a helmet, from Pop Warner to college football. The reality is, only a small number of men ever attain that goal. Even the majority of the thousands of young men who receive scholarships to play the sport in college never sniff the professional ranks.
It’s the same story for athletes competing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities these days. In the days before mass integration, HBCUs were gold mines for overlooked professional talent. Even after major colleges began to recruit black players heavily, these schools still managed to find diamonds in the rough like Mississippi Valley State’s Jerry Rice and Alcorn State’s Steve McNair in the 80s and 90s. But in today’s technologically advanced world where major colleges begin scouting players before their first high school games, such finds are fewer and further between.
As the NFL teams begin training camp, there are currently 59 players listed on team rosters. Hampton leads all HBCUs with a total of eight alumni competing for roster spots, including former Pirate defensive linemen Kendrick Ellis and Marcus Dixon. Bethune-Cookman and Jackson State came in second with four players each. Alabama State, Alcorn State, FAMU, Grambling State, Howard, Morgan State and South Carolina State all had three players.
The Jacksonville Jaguars currently have a league-high five players from HBCUs on their roster. The Indianapolis Colts feature four HBCU products, including veteran Alabama A&M product Robert Mathis.
How does your HBCU fit in? See check out the chart below.
* Denotes rookie players
|Robert Mathis||Colts||DL||Alabama A&M|
|Frank Kearse||Panthers||DL||Alabama A&M|
|Michael Coe||Giants||DB||Alabama State|
|Tavaris Jackson||Seahawks||QB||Alabama State|
|*Nigel Carr||Ravens||LB||Alabama State|
|Nate Hughes||Lions||WR||Alcorn State|
|Donald Driver||Packers||WR||Alcorn State|
|Emanuel Arceneaux||Vikings||WR||Alcorn State|
|*Delano Johnson||Texans||LB||Bowie State|
|Issac Redmond||Steelers||RB||Bowie State|
|Curtis Holcomb||49ers||DB||Florida A&M|
|Bryan Tyms||49ers||WR||Florida A&M|
|*Kevin Elliot||Jaguars||WR||Florida A&M|
|Jason Hatcher||Cowboys||DL||Grambling State|
|Larry Donnell||Giants||TE||Grambling State|
|*Mario Louis||Texans||WR||Grambling State|
|Marcus Benard||Browns||DL||Jackson State|
|D.J. Johnson||Colts||DB||Jackson State|
|Donavan Robinson||Saints||LB||Jackson State|
|Jaymar Johnson||Cardinals||WR||Jackson State|
|Jacoby Jones||Ravens||WR||Lane College|
|Visanthe Shiancoe||Patriots||TE||Morgan State|
|*Jourdan Brooks||Bengals||RB||Morgan State|
|Lamont Bryant||Panthers||WR||Morgan State|
|Don Carey||Lions||DB||Norfolk State|
|Quinton Spears||Browns||LB||Prarie View|
|Adrian Hamilton||Cowboys||LB||Prarie View|
|Greg Toler||Cardinals||DB||St. Pauls|
|Donovan Richard||Jaguars||LB||South Carolina State|
|Dominique Ellis||Chiefs||DB||South Carolina State|
|James Lee||Redskins||OL||South Carolina State|
|Lamar Givens||Titans||DL||Tennessee State|
|David Mims||Chiefs||OL||Virginia Union|
|William Hayes||Rams||DL||Winston-Salem State|
|*Nick Cooper||Packers||RB||Winston-Salem State|