NC Central
North Carolina Central University

HBCU Legacy Bowl to feature four NC Central members

NC Central will have four representatives in the HBCU Legacy Bowl in New Orleans next month.

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Four Eagles will represent NC Central at the second annual HBCU Legacy Bowl on Feb. 25, televised live by the NFL Network at 3 p.m. (CT) from Yulman Stadium on the campus of Tulane University.

NC Central football head coach Trei Oliver, the 2022 MEAC Coach of the Year, will serve as head coach of Team Gaither, while tight end Tyler Barnes, wide receiver E.J. Hicks, and offensive lineman Robert Mitchell will compete for Team Gaither.

In his third season as head coach, Oliver led his alma mater to a thrilling 41-34 overtime victory over No. 5 Jackson State University in the Cricket Celebration Bowl, becoming just the third team in school history to win 10 games in a season and earning the program’s highest FCS national ranking at No. 17 in the final AFCA Coaches’ Poll.

Mitchell (Millsboro, Del.), the 2022 MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year, topped a dominant Eagles’ offensive front with a 90% grade on blocking assignments and amassed more than 60 pancake blocks without allowing a sack.

Hicks (Rolesville, N.C.), an All-MEAC Second Team honoree, tied for second in the MEAC with seven touchdown receptions, ranked third in the conference with 613 receiving yards on 33 catches, averaging 18.6 yards per grab.

Barnes (Charlotte, N.C.), an All-MEAC Second Team selection, caught 12 passes for 143 yards, averaging 11.9 yards per reception.

The HBCU Combine, in collaboration with the NFL, will be held on Feb. 20 at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center, the New Orleans Saints practice facility. All 32 NFL clubs are expected to be in attendance.

The HBCU Legacy Bowl, presented by the Black College Football Hall of Fame, is a postseason all-star game showcasing the best NFL draft-eligible football players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

For more information about NCCU Athletics, visit or download the NCCU Eagles Athletics app.

HBCU Legacy Bowl to feature four NC Central members
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