BASN NFL Draft Preview: Quarterbacks And Running Backs

By Tony McClean
Updated: April 22, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — For the fourth consecutive season, BASN will use the services of Shannon Kneeland, the president of “Diamonds In The Rough”, the nation’s only scouting service that yearly evaluates the best black college football talent available for the NFL Draft.

Over the next six days, we’ll take a look the best HBCU players using Kneeland and his staffs individual player evaluations. Today, we look at the best quarterbacks and running backs.


Tavaris Jackson, Alabama State

A transfer from from Arkansas that made the move to ASU in 2003 and helped lead the Hornets to a SWAC title in 2004. Last year, the Montgomery native passed for over 2,900 yards and 29 TDs. Jackson shows good arm strength and can move around the pocket well. He’s learning to add some touch on his deep throws. Caught the attention of many scouts following his peformance at the East-West Shrine Game. Scouts like his size along with his athletic ability.

Bruce Eugene, Grambling State

After suffering a season-ending injury in 2004, Eugene was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA in 2005. The record setting passer ended his career with a SWAC leading 4,408 passing yards and 56 TDs. Has shown good accuracy and and velocity during his career. Will throw off his back foot at times, but because of his size (6-0, 260 pounds), he’s somewhat limited athletically. Must lose weight and continue to work on his technique to maintain that level.


Ab Kuuan, Grambling State

Kuuan emerged as one of the SWAC’s premier backs last season. He ran for 891 yards on 175 carries (5.1 ypc) and nine TDs. Runs hard and strong, however he’s more of an inside runner who struggles at times to turn the corner and pick up speed. The All-SWAC performer has the size to play at the pro level, but must work hard to improve on his blocking.

John David Washington, Morehouse

Washington finished 2005 with 1,198 yards and broke his own single-season rushing record of 1,124 set in 2003. Washington also owns the school’s single-game (242) and career rushing records (1,198). In the Las Vegas Bowl, Washington ran for 27 yards on four carries. Has great quickness in between tackles and shows burst in the open field. More of an outside runner than an inside pound guy. Should work his blocking and maintain his speed.

Keldrick Williams, Alabama State

Another potent member of ASU’s title team from 2004. Last year, Williams ran for 971 yards on 181 carries (5.4 ypc) and eight TDs. He also caught 14 passes for an additional 198 yards. Has shown tremendous quickness and strength despite smallish (5-9, 205 pounds) built. Ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is a plus. May have to begin on special teams to make immediate impact.

Rashard Pompey, Florida A&M

Pompey finished 14th in Division I-AA in rushing (109.5 ypg) including 761 yards in the last five games. Overall, he finished the 2005 campaign with 1,095 yards rushing on 194 carries, with seven TDs in 10 games. Possesses the ability to run effectively inside the tackles and is capable of going the distance with his good speed and elusiveness in the open field.He is also a very effective pass catcher out of the backfield as well.

Martin Hicks, Winston-Salem State

The CIAA’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2005, Hicks appeared in, and started, all ten games for the Rams en route to leading the Rams in rushing for the third straight season. He tallied 989 net yards of rushing offense on 147 carries for an average of 6.7 yards per carry. Hicks also took advantage of his sole opportunity to be noticed by NFL scouts in the Cactus Bowl as he led all rushers with 76 yards and a touchdown.

TOMMORROW: Receivers and Tight Ends.