Anderson’s career was disappointingly cut short as well, though not for the same reasons. After starting in spot duty during his first two seasons, he was suspended for one year for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy in 2002.
He would spend the next 15 months applying for reinstatement. When he finally got it just before the 2004 season, the Panthers decided to part ways with him. His career was over at the age of 24 with 67 tackles and one interception to his credit.
HBCU athletes have struggled to get picked in the first days of the NFL Draft since 2000, with only Tennessee State’s Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2008) and Alabama State’s Tytus Howard (2019) being the only two HBCU players to earn that distinction in the last 20 years.
Perhaps, with increased visibility and opportunity, the first day of the NFL Draft will mean something to HBCU football fans again in this decade.