The NFL has a history of having great players come from small Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs). The NFL Hall of Fame currently has 34 busts from 17 different HBCUs around the country, comprising nearly 10% of the players in the Hall of Fame. Some of those names include Michael Strahan, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Jackie Slater, and more.
The Dallas Cowboys have had eight players from HBCUs on their rosters over the years thanks to the legendary scout Gil Brandt who pointed out the talent at these schools. He selected names like Bob Hayes (FAMU), Rayfield Wright (Fort Valley State), and Everson Walls (Grambling).
The ability for teams to find talent at these smaller schools has continued to grow with 18 players making an NFL roster in 2021. While this still isn’t close to the number of players selected from major college programs, the schools are still getting recognition for the talented players they possess.
Cowboys legend Deion Sanders is now the head coach at Jackson State University. Sanders is a great advocate for HBCUs and even called out several NFL organizations for not attending his school’s Pro Day last week. Luckily, the Cowboys were not one of them. Hopefully, Dallas will continue this tradition and try to find a player from an HBCU that can come in and shock teams that failed to scout these smaller schools.
5 players from HBCUs that have the talent and ability to make the Cowboys roster
1. Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 193lbs
Career Stats: 79 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 22 passes defended
The most well-rounded HBCU player that is in this draft is Joshua Williams. He is a cornerback who would fit perfectly in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense. He’s got the size and length Quinn likes to see in his cornerbacks and he’s one of the more physical defenders on the outside that you will see. Even though he comes from a smaller school he’s not afraid of competition as you can see in the video below of him facing off against a projected second or third-round pick in Alec Pierce out of Cincinnati.
You aren’t going to find too many cornerbacks with his ability to backpedal, open up, and be able to run with receivers at his size and speed. If Quinn has his way, this could be a player that he’s definitely scouted during the season. At least that’s what I hope.