Miami Heat forward Lebron James got a lot of folks talking last week when he listed his “Mt. Rushmore” of NBA Greats. Folks are still talking about it, so we decided to apply the list to the HBCU sports world. Here are a few of the ones we came up with.
HBCU Football Mt. Rushmore
Walter Payton, Jackson State: Sweetness was far from a one-man team: he played with NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Slater and several other pro players at JSU. Still, Payton was a once-in-a generation talent, running for over 3,500 yards and 61 touchdowns at JSU. He was picked fourth overall in the 1974 draft and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in NFL history.
Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State: Rice caught 301 passes and 50 touchdowns in four seasons. He did okay in the NFL, too.
Doug Williams, Grambling State: How good was Doug Williams at Grambling State? He was a first-round draft pick in 1977, when there were only a handful of black quarterbacks in the league. A decade later, he made history as the first Black quarterback to start and win a Superbowl.
Steve McNair, Alcorn State: The last great pro prospect to play at an HBCU, Steve McNair was a full-fledged phenom at Alcorn State. The Heisman candidate was picked third overall by the Houston Oilers, making him the highest drafted quarterback from an HBCU.