This week’s HBCU NFL Report shows Philadelphia defensive tackle Javon Hargrave out of South Carolina State on a tear.
Hargrave is the 6-3, 305-pound former two-time MEAC defensive player of the year. He was considered “unblockable” during his years in Orangeburg, S. C. He bullied his way to 37 sacks while starting all 47 games during his college career.
This reporter remembers former N. C. A&T head coach Bill Hayes saying, ‘We couldn’t block him, We tried double-teaming him. We tried triple-teaming him. Nothing worked.” Back in 2014 at S. C. State, Hargrave had six sacks in one game vs. Bethune-Cookman. Perhaps that’s when the nickname “Gravedigger” was coined for the Salisbury, N. C. native.
Such has been the play of the seven-year veteran recently. He is playing out the last year of a three-year, $39 million contract he signed with the Eagles in 2020.
HBCU NFL Report: Hargrave leads the Eagles
Hargrave leads the undefeated Eagles (8-0) with six sacks on the season. Five have come over the last two games – in a span of four days!
Hargrave went through Pittsburgh, his former team, like a hot knife thru butter. The Eagles’ 35-13 dismantling of the Steelers came on the Oct. 29 edition of Sunday Night Football. He had eight tackles, six of them solos, and two sacks, one a strip sack of rookie QB Kenny Pickett.
Hargrave took it a step further Thursday. Rookie first round pick and fellow defensive tackle Jordan Davis was out with an ankle injury. Hargrave stepped up with three sacks for -19 yards. He also led the Eagles with seven tackles (six solos) in a 29-17 win over Houston. See video of Hargrave’s three sacks here.
Eagles’ head coach Nick Siriani presented Hargrave a game ball for his efforts.
HBCU NFL Report: Danny Johnson gets first pick
This season we’ve seen HBCU rookies Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State) of Kansas City and Decobie Durant (SC State) of the LA Rams get their first NFL interception in their first seasons in the league.
It’s taken a couple of HBCU NFL veterans a little longer.
This week it was Danny Johnson’s turn. The fifth-year veteran, who has played all five seasons with Washington, picked off Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins in the second quarter of the Commanders’s heart-breaking 20-17 loss to the Vikings. He picked off a pass in the end zone intended for Vikings’ wide receiver Justin Jefferson on a tip drill, See the interception here.
“Danny’s a guy that continues to battle and earns opportunities, and he’s been practicing really well,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said after the game. “Danny did some good things. There’s a couple things that Danny’s got to be a little bit better at. One thing is he lost his leverage on one particular play, but for the most part I thought he played pretty well.”
HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of Nov. 3-7, 2022
– #97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Started at defensive tackle in 29-17 win over Houston Thursday and dominated like he did at SC State registering three sacks for -19 yards while leading the Eagles’ defense with seven total tackles, six solos. Hargrave was in on 41 (68%) of the defensive snaps and two snaps (9%) on special teams.
– #72 TERRON ARMSTEAD, LT, Miami (10th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – Started at left tackle in Dolphins’ 35-32 win over Chicago. Miami ran for 77 yards and one TD ans passed for 302 yards and three scores while giving up no sacks. Armstead and was in on all 57 (100%) of the offensive plays.
– #33 ANTONIO HAMILTON, DB, Arizona (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 31-21 loss to Seattle, Hamilton had two tackles on defense, one solo, and two solo tackles on special teams. He logged 19 (26%) defensive plays and 23 (83%) on special teams.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
#71 TYTUS HOWARD, OT, Houston (4th season, ALABAMA STATE – In 29-17 loss to Philadelphia, Howard started at right tackle as Texans rushed for 168 yards and passed for 154 yards and two TDs. The Texans offensive line gave up three sacks, all to the Eagles’ Javon Hargrave. Howard played all 60 (100%) offensive plays and three (13%) of plays on special teams.
– #60 NICK LEVERETT, OL, Tampa Bay (2nd season, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL) – Started at left guard in Bucs 16-13 win over Tampa Bay. The Bucs’ offensive line anchored 51 rushing yards and 280 passing yards with one TD and just one sack. Leverett was in on 84 offensive plays (100%) and five (15%) on special teams.
– # JA’TYRE CARTER, OL, Chicago (1st season, SOUTHERN) – Did not play in 35-32 loss to Miami.
– #78 TRENT SCOTT, OT, Pittsburgh (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – Steelers were off this week.
– #36 DANNY JOHNSON, DB, Washington, (5th season, SOUTHERN) – In 20-17 loss to Minnesota, Johnson started at cornerback and had an interception and four total tackles, two solos, while playing 50 (76%) of the defensive snaps. It was the first interception of his five-year NFL career.
– #53 SHAQUILLE LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (5th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 26-3 loss to New England, Leonard had five total tackles, four solos. He was in on 34 defensive plays (54%).
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (6th season, ALBANY STATE) – In 26-3 los to New England, Stewart had five total tackles, four solos, two tackles for loss. Stewart was in on 47 (75%) of the defensive plays and and eight plays (24%) on special teams.
– #45 JOE THOMAS, LB, Chicago (8th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 35-32 loss to Miami, Thomas had one solo tackle on defense while playing 26 plays (46%). He was also in on 22 (85%) plays on special teams.
– #14 DECOBIE DURANT, DB, LA Rams (1st season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – In 16-13 loss to Tampa Bay, Durant had one assist on a special teams’ tackle. He played 22 (67%) of the plays on special teams.
– #23 JOSHUA WILLIAMS, DB, Kansas City (1st season, FAYETTEVILLE STATE) – In 20-17 win over Tennessee, Williams had two solo tackles on defense, and one tackle for loss while playing 21 (41%) of the defensive snaps and 15 (48%) of the special teams’ snaps
– #47 DE’SHAAN DIXON, DE, Jacksonville (1st season, NORFOLK STATE) – Was not active in 15-9 win over Green Bay.
– #56 QUINTON BELL, OLB, Atlanta (2nd year, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Was not active in 20-17 loss to the LA Chargers.
– #41 MARKQUESE BELL, DB, Dallas (1st season, FLORIDA A&M) – Dallas was off this week.
– #12 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Atlanta (5th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – In 20-17 loss to the LA Chargers, Hodge caught one pass in two targets for 19 yards. He played 16 (26%) the Falcons’ offensive plays and 16 (67%) of their special teams’ plays