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2022 Football

HBCU NFL Report: For games of Oct. 27-31

Philadelphia defensive tackle Javon Hargrave had two sacks in the Eagles’ dismantling of Pittsburgh Sunday. The defensive tackle out of SC State is this week’s HBCU NFL Defensive Player of the Week. Check out all the HBCU NFL performers in this week’s HBCU NFL Report.

SC State defenders are again at the forefront of the HBCU NFL Report.

Philadelphia DT Javon Hargrave is this week’s defensive player of the week. Indianapolis Colts LB Shaquille Leonard made an impressive return. Both played under head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough at South Carolina State,

HBCU NFL Report: Javon Hargrave

Hargrave, the Eagles’ 6-2, 305-pound defensive tackle wreaked havoc on his old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. It came Sunday during Philly’s 35-13 dismantling of the Steelers.

Hargrave, nicknamed ‘The Gravedigger” was unblockable. He poured through the Steelers’ offensive line registering eight total tackles, six solos, including two sacks. His first sack was on the last play of the first half. He dropped Steelers’ rookie QB Kenny Pickett for an 11-yard loss.

His second sack came early in the fourth quarter. He plowed through Steelers’ center Mason Cole and caught Pickett as he tried to escape to his right. Hargrave wrapped his arms around the rookie QB forcing a fumble that teammate Avonte Maddox recovered.

Philadelphia tackle Javon Hargrave celebrates fourth-quarter strip sack of Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett that halted a Steelers’ drive into Eagles’ territory.

It halted an eight-play Steelers drive that had carried to the Eagles’ 36-yard line with Pittsburgh trailing 28-13. Two plays later, the Eagles scored again for the final margin.

HBCU NFL Report: Hargrave takes a shot

After the game, Hargrave posted photos of his sacks of Pickett with the caption, “They didn’t believe. GOD did.” It was an apparent reference to Pittsburgh not re-signing him after spending his first four years with the Steelers.

Apparently, some of his former teammates and current Steelers liked the photo.

Hargave was a two-time MEAC defensive player of the year at SC State. He was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft by the Steelers. After being spurned by the Steelers, Hargrave signed a $39 million, three-year deal with the Eagles. The deal included $26 million in guaranteed money. It made him the highest-paid nose tackle in the league.

HBCU NFL Report: Shaquille Leonard

Indianapolis defensive captain and ringleader Shaquille Leonard played in only his second game of the season in the Colts’ 17-16 loss to Washington Sunday. But he was up to his old tricks.

Indianapolis linebacker SHAQUILLE LEONARD (#53 SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) heads the other way after picking off a pass from Washington QB Taylor Heinicke in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ 17-16 loss. In just his second game of the season after battling injuries, Leonard had four tackles to go along with his pick. 

He had a fourth-quarter interception to go along with four tackles on the day in limited action.

Leonard missed the first three games as he recovered from off-season back surgery. In his first game back, he suffered a concussion that had kept him out until Sunday’s game vs. Washington. He played 24 (39%) of the Colts’ defensive snaps against the Commanders. 

“We kind of were working him back in knowing that he is not quite all the way back,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said of Leonard against the Commanders. “So that was just part of the planned rotation.”

The fiery Leonard was obviously disappointed in the outcome. He expressed those sentiments in his postgame interview.

HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

For games of October 27 – 31, 2022

DEFENSE

 – #97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Started at defensive tackle and was a game-wrecker in 35-13 win over Pittsburgh posting eight total tackles, six solos, with two sacks for -13 yards including one strip sack, one tackle for loss, and two hits on the quarterback. Hargrave was in on 46 (61%) of the defensive snaps and three (11%) on special teams. 

OFFENSE

#72 TERRON ARMSTEAD, LT, Miami (10th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – Started at left tackle in Dolphins’ 31-27 win over Detroit and was in on 68 (100%) of the offensive plays. The Dolphins passed for 382 yards and three TDs and rushed for 107 and one TD. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

– #6 JAMIE GILLAN, P, New York Giants (5th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – In 27-13 loss to Seattle, Gillan punted six times for 322 yards (53.7-yard average) with a 47.7 yard net with one touchback and two downed inside the 20. His long punt was a 69-yarder. He was in on nine (30%) of special teams’ plays. 

OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES

OFFENSE  

#71 TYTUS HOWARD, OT, Houston (4th season, ALABAMA STATE – In 17-10 loss to Tennessee, Howard started at right tackle as Texans rushed for 43 yards and passed for 152 yards and one TD while giving up three sacks. Howard played 54 (100%) of the offensive plays and two (7%) of plays on special teams.

– #60 NICK LEVERETT, OL, Tampa Bay (2nd season, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL) – Started at left guard in Bucs 27-22 loss to Baltimore. Leverett was in on 68 (100%) of the offensive plays and four (13%) of the special teams’ plays.

– # JA’TYRE CARTER, OL, Chicago (1st season, SOUTHERN) – In 49-29 loss to Dallas, was in on three special teams’ plays (10%) without a stat. 

 – #78 TRENT SCOTT, OT, Pittsburgh (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 35-13 loss to Philadelphia, Scott was in on one offensive play (1%). . 

DEFENSE

– #53 SHAQUILLE LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (5th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In only his second game played on the season, a 17-16 loss to Washington, Leonard had four total tackles, three solos with one interception and one pass defended. He played on 24 (39%) of the Colts’ defensive snaps. 

– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (6th season, ALBANY STATE) – In 17-16 loss to Washington, Stewart had seven total tackles, six solos, one tackle for loss and one pass batted down. He was in on 39 (64%) of the defensive plays and nine (35%) of the special teams’ plays.

Indianapolis defensive tackle GROVER STEWART (#90 ALBANY STATE) closes in for a takedown of Washington RB Antonio Gibson (#24) in Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Commanders. Stewart had seven total tackles, six solos, one a TFL (tackle for loss) for the Colts.

 – #41 MARKQUESE BELL, DB, Dallas (1st season, FLORIDA A&M) – Had his most extensive action in a 49-29 win over Chicago. He was in on 15 defensive snaps (19%) and 17 (59%) of the special teams’ snaps without a stat.

– #33 ANTONIO HAMILTON, DB, Arizona (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Hamilton had three solo tackles in Arizona’s’ 34-26 loss to Minnesota, . Hamilton played 16 (23%) defense plays and 20 (67%) of special teams’ plays.

– #47 DE’SHAAN DIXON, DE, Jacksonville (1st season, NORFOLK STATE) – In 21-17 loss to Denver, Dixon was in on 14 (54%) of the Jags’ special teams plays. 

– #45 JOE THOMAS, LB, Chicago (8th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 49-29 loss to Dallas, Thomas had one assisted tackle on defense while playing eight plays (14%) and 26 (90%) plays on special teams.

 – #56 QUINTON BELL, OLB, Atlanta (2nd year, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Was not active in 37-34 win over Carolina.

SPECIAL TEAMS 

#12 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Atlanta (5th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – In 37-34 win over Carolina, Hodge was in on three offensive plays (4%) and 19 (54%) plays on special teams without a sack. 

HBCU NFL Report: For games of Oct. 27-31
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