February 19th, 2022 marked the 1st Annual HBCU Legacy Bowl. Some would call this game long overdue and for these players. A chance for the NFL to look at the top talents HBCU football has to offer. The game was held at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Almost 100 Players from 39 HBCUs were granted an invitation to play in this new game. The NFL has also shown their seriousness with getting HBCUs more exposure by broadcasting this game on NFL Network, having Patrick Mahomes as an Honorary Captain, Celebrities making their appearance, important analysts like Bucky Brooks conducting interviews with players. Team Gaither would get the win in this one 22-6.
Team Gaither showed their dominance accumulating 344 yards, 253 passing, and 91 rushing. Two rushing touchdowns and the game’s only passing touchdown. Passing looked to be more efficient as well with the team’s completion percentage being 64% compared to Team Robinson’s 39%. One person played a huge part in the passing success and that was Chowan Quarterback Bryce Witt. Witt was 15 of 21 passing with 131 yards and a passing touchdown. His passer rating was 139.5 which was very impressive.
Defensively for Team Gaither was a show, to say the least. Defensive Back Aaron Walker caused the game’s first turnover when he hit Runningback Ezra Gray, causing a forced fumble recovered by Bowie State Linebacker Wesley Bowers. The next fumble was caused by Bowers as he hits Wide Receiver Shemar Bridges over the middle. This defense would only allow 136 yards total on the day, 105 passing, and 31 rushing.
Now there were some standouts on Team Robinson. Alabama State Runningback Ezra Gray lead the team in rushing with 33 yards on four rushes. He has shown all week that he can be an explosive player and a north-south runner. Both quarterbacks Aqeel Glass(Alabama A&M) and Jawon Pass(Prairie View) have shown their ability to progress through reads and fit the ball in tight windows. Glass completed a 29-yard pass to Bethune Cookman Tight End Taron Mallard on 3rd and 8. Pass made his last name fit as he convert a 3rd and 10 with a 20-yard pass to Alcorn State Wide Receiver LeCharles Pringle. One more quarterback for Team Robinson showed his potential to play at the next level, Alcorn State’s Felix Harper. On his one drive of play, he completed 3 key passes of 10 yards or more.
But don’t let the lack of amazing stats fool you, these are just some of many HBCU players that have the potential to play at the next level.
- HBCUFebruary 28, 2023HBCU Legacy Bowl 2023
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