HBCU Combine set to debut in Mobile this weekend

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:38 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)- HBCU players will take center stage in Mobile for the first-ever HBCU combine. The event, originally scheduled for Miami in 2020, was canceled due to the start of the pandemic. That’s when the Senior Bowl stepped in.

“That’s when I called the NFL league office and gave our pitch for the city of mobile you know us being in the heart of HBCU country and here we are two years later,” said Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy.

It comes at a good time. No HBCU players were selected during last year’s draft. Events like this could help change that.

“Everything the guys are going to do in indy they’re going to do here. Same drills, interview process,” said Director of Football Operations Michael Coe. “This instills a lot of hope knowing all 32 teams will be here in mobile to see these guys.”

The goal of the combine is to give the players as much exposure as possible. It’s something Hall of Famer Robert Brazile feels could have made a difference when he and Walter Payton played at Jackson State.

“I still say off of the team that I played on at Jackson there’s another five to eight guys that could have played in the pros,” said Brazile.

Now he’s glad today’s players are getting the same chance that players from bigger schools get.

“It’s leveling the playing field. If you’re a diamond and I say it all the time. A diamond will be at Jackson or at Auburn or Alabama he’ll shine. You’re still going to shine,” added Brazile.

As the players get ready to shine it’s all another example of HBCUs stepping back into the spotlight

“There is a movement right now and I think this HBCU combine event is just the start of it,” added Nagy.

The HBCU combine takes place this Friday and Saturday at the University of South Alabama and over the next couple of days, we’ll be taking a look at some of the players who are hoping to take that next step towards the NFL.