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Former HBCU Players To Use NFL Europa As Stepping Stone
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — For former black college football standouts QB Bruce Eugene of Grambling State and RB John David Washington of Morehouse College, the road to the NFL has been a roller coaster ride.
Both of them, along with some other former HBCU players, are hoping that a summer spent in NFL Europa will help put them on an NFL roster later this year.
Washington and Eugene are among a short list of 12 former HBCU players who have either been signed as free agents or assigned by their respective teams to an NFL Europa roster for the upcoming season.
The 2007 season – the 15th in league history – kicks off on Saturday, April 14 and concludes with World Bowl XV in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, June 23.
Despite getting cut in training camp, Washington was re-signed by the Rams and spent the entire 2006 season on St. Louis’ practice squad. He’s now been allocated to the Hamburg Sea Devils by the Rams to get a chance to show his skills.
The son of Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, John David ended his collegiate career as the Maroon Tigers’ all-time leading rusher with over 3,600 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Eugene nearly rewrote all the passing records at Grambling State. His overall record with the Tigers was 30-8 and he threw for 13,530 yards with 133 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.
Before signing with the Buccaneers during the offseason, Eugene had previously attended training camp with the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
Among some of the other notable HBCU alumni on NFL Europa rosters for the upcoming season are running back Charles Anthony (Tennessee State), who joins Eugene at Frankfurt, and defensive tackle Walter Curry (Albany State) for the Berlin Thunder.
A two-time SIAC Defensive Player of the Year, Curry played with the Rhein Fire in 2006 after spending the entire 2005 season on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice roster.
Anthony, the all-time leading rusher in Tennessee State football history and the 2004 Sheridan Broadcasting Offensive Player of the Year, attended the Tennessee Titans’ 2006 training camp and was signed by the Galaxy as a free agent.
HBCU PLAYERS ON NFL EUROPA ROSTERS
WR Harry Williams, Tuskegee (Texans).
DT Walter Curry, Albany State (Jaguars); DE Walter Brown, Howard (Rams).
DT Earnest Jones, Tennessee State (free agent); CB Victor Phillips, Southern (free agent).
RB Charles Anthony, Tennessee State (free agent); QB Bruce Eugene, Grambling State (Buccaneers).
HAMBURG SEA DEVILS
CB Robert Durham, Tuskegee (free agent); WR Ezra Landry, Southern (free agent); LB Kenny Kern, Delaware State (free agent); RB John David Washington, Morehouse College (Rams).