Although the league has currently shrunk to 4 teams, the Arena Football League is surely a proving ground for football talent. Since 1987, the AFL has provided football fans with a high scoring alternative to the football that fans are used to.
The AFL is also a proving ground for players from HBCUs. As NFL and CFL agents scout through the league; these HBCU players as using the AFL the shine. Here are players from HBCUs who were on AFL rosters this season.
Keith Newell (OL) – Delaware State
James Romain (DB) – Delaware State
Greg McPhee (QB) – Howard
Mykel Benson (BB) – Florida A&M
Ryan Cave (OL) – Hampton
Joe Hills (WR) – Tennessee State
Terrance Smith (WR) – South Carolina State
Joe Sykes (DL) – Southern
Raymond McNeil (OL) – Fort Valley State
Dexter Jackson (LB) – Bethune Cookman
Arvell Nelson (QB) – Texas Southern
T.T. Toliver (WR) – Bethune Cookman
Alvin Ray Jackson (LB) – Albany State
Douglas McNeil (WR) – Bowie State
Players to Mention
Doug McNeil III
The former Bowie State star had eight receptions, 95 receiving yards and four total touchdowns in the Arena Bowl.
At No. 4⃣ in our @ActionStreamer #HelmetCam Top Five, Arvell Nelson throws a 🎯 to Doug McNeil III for a @WashingtonValor score 🙌. pic.twitter.com/dGXELKohLP
— MonumentalSportsNet (@MonSportsNet) July 17, 2018
The TSU alum collected 1045 total receiving yards and 33 touchdowns on the year. He led the AFL in receiving touchdowns.
Joe Hills 1, Wall 0 pic.twitter.com/G6oLFIRuF0
— Albany Empire (@Albany_Empire) July 12, 2018
Romain had 54 tackles on the season; sixth in the AFL. He also collected four interceptions as well. He was named AFL Defensive Back of the Year.
AFL DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE YEAR 😎🙌 #RoadTo3Peat🏆
(@2FiveGetLive )https://t.co/CCcSQ1VXPB pic.twitter.com/3hSQys31S9
— Philadelphia Soul (@soulfootball) July 19, 2018
“I mean for me, this is the highest. In any sport at any level, to win the championship is the highest praise so I would say this is the highest.”
Nelson went 23/33 passing with 223 passing yards. He threw for three passing touchdowns. He notched an ArenaBowl-record 15 rushing attempts, 42 rushing yards, and an ArenaBowl-record five rushing touchdowns. He was named MVP of the contest.
He threw for 27 touchdowns and ran for six on the season.
CONGRATS to the #ArenaBowlXXXI MVP, Arvell Nelson! 🏆#ComeToPlay #PlayToWin pic.twitter.com/xhudUIcjsE
— Washington Valor (@WashingtonValor) July 29, 2018