2018 Football

Ex-HBCU athletes thriving in the Arena Football League

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.

Philadelphia Soul

Keith Newell (OL) – Delaware State

James Romain (DB) – Delaware State

Greg McPhee (QB) – Howard

Albany Empire

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

Baltimore Brigade

Raymond McNeil (OL) – Fort Valley State

Dexter Jackson (LB) – Bethune Cookman

Washington Valor

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.

Joe Hills

The TSU alum collected 1045 total receiving yards and 33 touchdowns on the year. He led the AFL in receiving touchdowns.

James Romain

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.

Arvell Nelson

“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. 




Ex-HBCU athletes thriving in the Arena Football League
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