2023 Football

HBCUs prominent at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Tennessee State head coach Eddie George, who coached the National team, meets American coach Jeff Fisher after Saturday’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl. Fisher coached George with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. NFL rookie star James Houston was also on hand to support the five HBCU participants.

Jeff Fisher’s American team got a field goal in the final second to edge Eddie George’s National team 19-17 Saturday at the 13th NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. 

The five HBCU players in the postseason all-star game at the Rose Bowl had somewhat mixed results. Some got to showcase their skills in the game. Others laid claim to their NFL draftability during workouts during the week. 

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl offensive participants

Emanuel Wilson, the running back out of Fort Valley State, had back-to-back 8- and 1-yard runs in the opening possession of the game for the National team. He later added a 5-yard run in the second quarter. His 2-yard run in the third quarter led to a National touchdown. He totalled four carries for 16 yards in the game.

Wilson, the SIAC’s player of the year, was noted for his play in the game and declared an Impact Player in the NFL Network telecast.

Fort Valley State RB Emanuel Wilson noted for his outstanding season with the Wildcats.

Darius Hagans of Virginia State played on the American team. He got his first carry for the American team in the third quarter. He rushed for no gain. Hagans also had a carry for no gain at the beginning of the fourth quarter. He had two carries for no yards. 

Kemari Averett, a tight end out of Bethune-Cookman, did not catch a pass. 

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl defensive participants

Alabama State defensive back Keenan Isaac played for the winning American team. Jackson State defensive back Isaiah Bolden played for the National team. Both were singled out for their showing during the week of workouts before over 200 NFL scouts.

Keenan Isaac

On The Hunt Report on, Emory Hunt had this review of their play during the workouts. 

CB Keenan Isaac: 6-2 188, Alabama State

Isaac’s length, combined with his press skills, made him standout almost immediately this week, especially during 1-on-1s. The wing span and ball awareness helped keep passing windows closed for business during 7-on-7s. I thought he showcased a ton of polish this week. 

DB Isaiah Bolden: 6-2 201, Jackson State

Bolden was a star defender this week. He showed he could be a very good outside corner at the NFL level. We already knew his safety background at Jackson State, but playing on the perimeter this week was a chance to showcase his coverage skills. Also, his ability as a return specialist makes him even more attractive to pro scouts.

Bolden had a punt return for 8 yards during Saturday’s game.

Hunt spoke with Bolden earlier in the week about his ability to do more than one thing. 

NFL Collegiate Bowl: NFL star in the house

Former Jackson State linebacker James Houston, who played in the 2021 game, was on hand for Saturday’s game.

Houston is coming off a spectacular rookie season with the Detroit Lions where he set an NFL record with eight sacks in his first seven games. He was interviewed on the sidelines about his journey to making it in the NFL.  

NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL VET: James Houston shared his journey thru the game to the NFL at Saturday’s game.

Former East Carolina quarterback Holton Ahyers hit on 9 of 12 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown. Ahyers and was named the game’s MVP. Ahyers was also the MVP of the Jan. 14 Hula Bowl.

HBCUs prominent at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To Top