Which player made you love HBCU football?
It’s a loaded question, with no one answer, but many real ones. As HBCU football rolls into its 130th year in 2022, the list of talented and outstanding players is lengthy and continues to grow.
We asked our Twitter followers this question and the response was immediate. Here were some of the most consistent answers we got.
The Alcorn State star went on to become the first black quarterback to be named NFL MVP with the Tennessee Titans. A decade earlier, McNair re-wrote the FCS, SWAC and HBCU football record books as a quarterback, earning Heisman votes with a theme song to go with them before being drafted by the Houston Oilers.
Before Steve McNair, Doug Williams was the standard by which all HBCU quarterbacks were judged. Williams was a barrier breaker while playing for legendary Eddie Robinson at Grambling State in the 1970s, earning Heisman votes himself. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the 1977 NFL Draft and later made history as the first Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
Before he became ESPN’s go-to-analyst for Black College Football, Jay Walker was a star quarterback for Howard University. He made many plays during the 1993 season to lead HU to the MEAC title (it’s only MEAC title to date) but is best known for an infamous 90 yard run against NC A&T that we see almost every time he’s on TV.
Cohen spent four years running around and through defenders as a blue-and-gold blur while helping put North Carolina A&T football on the map. Arriving on the scene during the maturation of social media, his exploits were seen on a weekly basis for four years as well as in his viral, two-catch, backflip video.