BASN’s All HBC-Universe Team (Part 3)

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: December 30, 2008

Black College Football PHILADELPHIA– The hits — and hitters — keep coming in BASN’s homage to the best of the best football players from the HBCUs…

EIGHTH TEAM

HEAD COACH – BILLY JOE, FLORIDA A&M

(Scout’s notes: if you don’t know the answer to who is the coach second only to Eddie Robinson in number of victories, you do now. With over 30 years coaching experience, Joe compiled a record of 237 – 108 – 4 at Cheyney State, Central State University and FAMU. From 1994 – 2005, Joe coached the Rattlers back to prominence, winning four MEAC titles and a Black College Championship in 1998.

In another example of being second only to the very best, Joe’s FAMU record of 86-48 places him behind the legendary Jake Gaither in wins as a Rattler head coach. Where Joe’s skills were second to none, was while coaching at Ohio’s Central State (120 – 30 – 4), preparing stars Hugh Douglas and Erik “Black Diamond” Williams for the NFL.

OFFENSE

QB – GILBERT RENFROE, TENNESSEE STATE

(Scout’s notes: Renfroe became a victim of the juggling NFL teams do when hoarding players to hedge their bets against injury. Although Renfroe had modest success in the CFL, the NFL would bounce him around, with stops in Atlanta and Minnesota. The Arena Football League would prove to be his saving grace, as Renfroe led the Detroit Drive to a league championship in 1992 at Arena Bowl VI)

OFFENSIVE LINE:

OL – VERNICE SMITH, FLORIDA A&M

OL – HOMER ELIAS, TENNESSEE STATE

OL – MARQUES OGDEN, HOWARD UNIVERSITY

OL – ROD MILSTEAD, DELAWARE STATE

OL- DWIGHT WHEELER, TENNESSEE STATE

(Scout’s notes: Smith, a seven-year NFL veteran, is a classic example of under appreciation of the coaching talent at HBCUs; while other prominent Division I-A schools get credit for being “Linebacker U.” and “Quarterback U.”, FAMU should be considered the “Lineman U.” of Black college football, and arguably all of college football. Smith, like many more of his Rattler brethren, was a technically sound, plug-in and play lineman.

RECEIVERS:

TE- ANDREW GLOVER, GRAMBLING STATE

WR – WILLIE “JAKE” REED, GRAMBLING STATE

WR – SAMMIE WHITE, GRAMBLING STATE

(Scout’s notes: When he was still wily, Al Davis snagged Glover, who jumped center on the Tigers’ basketball team and turned him into a pretty decent receiver; Reed, along with the mercurial Cris Carter, became the first tandem to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in four consecutive seasons with the Minnesota Vikings)

BACKS:

RB – TIMMY NEWSOME, WINSTON-SALEM STATE

RB – REGGIE BARNES, DELAWARE STATE

(Scout’s notes: Barnes never got a sniff in the NFL, but walked in the door ready to jam in Canada, where he became offensive Rookie of the Year for the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1990; was a 1,000-yard plus yard back along with quarterback Damon Allen, and played six years in the CFL)

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DL – LEON SEALS, JACKSON STATE

DL – ANTHONY PLEASANT, TENNESSEE STATE

DL – JOHN MENDENHALL, GRAMBLING STATE

DL – BOB BROWN, ARKANSAS PINE-BLUFF

(Scout’s notes: Pleasant played in 181 games, credited with 54 sacks over 14 seasons; Seals was nicknamed, “Dr. Sack,” and played in back to back Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills; Mendenhall should’ve been cast as the real “Wolverine” from X-Men fame; at 265, he was the shortest, smallest, but fiercest cat to ever play nose tackle in the pit)

LINEBACKERS:

LB – AL BEAUCHAMP, SOUTHERN

LB – TOMMY HART, MORRIS BROWN

LB – RUFUS PORTER, SOUTHERN

(Scout’s notes: Porter became a blitzing defensive star in Seattle, earning Pro Bowl status in 1988-89)

SECONDARY:

CB – CAESER BELSER, ARKANSAS AM&N

CB – NEMIAH WILSON, GRAMBLING STATE

SS – DELLES HOWELL, GRAMBLING STATE

FS – DICK WESTMORELAND, NORTH CAROLINA A&T

(Scout’s notes: Westmoreland left a numbers situation in San Diego and became an All- AFL corner/safety in the fledgling years of the Miami Dolphins)

SPECIALS

P – KEITH SMYRE, GRAMBLING STATE

PK- RASHAN CYLAR, ALABAMA A&M

KR – J.D. GARRETT, GRAMBLING STATE

PR – FRANK PITTS, SOUTHERN

ST – GEORGE NOCK, MORGAN STATE

SEVENTH TEAM

HEAD COACH — W.C. GORDEN, JACKSON STATE

(Scout’s notes: Gorden is Jackson State’s winningest coach, with a 119-48-5 record; compiled an unbeaten string of 28 consecutive games from 1985-89; among his ready to go to the pros are Walter Payton, Jerome Barkum, and the baddest cat this side of Lawrence Taylor, Robert Brazile.)

OFFENSE

QB- CASEY PRINTERS, FLORIDA A&M

(Scout’s notes: Another Black quarterback whose talent scared the NFL; transferred from TCU to FAMU in his senior year; although undrafted in 2002, the Canada shuttle to the CFL made Printers a star with the British Columbia Lions; named league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2004, throwing for over 5,000 yards, but in spite of his records and exceptional play at the pivot, was benched for injured starter Dave Dickenson, who loses Grey Cup game to Damon Allen and Toronto; holds the CFL single game record for passing accuracy (90.9 % on 20-of-22 passes for over 300 yards); was the last player cut by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 for Tyler Thigpen, in spite of outplaying him in camp; currently the starting QB for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats)

OFFENSIVE LINE:

OL- HERM LEE, FLORIDA A&M

OL- EMANUEL ZANDERS, JACKSON STATE

OL- ELBERT DRUNGO, TENNESSEE STATE

OL- ROGER FINNIE, FLORIDA A&M

OL- CLEVELAND GREEN, SOUTHERN

(Scout’s notes: Numbers don’t lie; Finnie, another Rattler lineman, was a 14th round draft pick, 364th overall in 1969; played 11 years)

RECEIVERS:

TE – WILLIE FRAZIER, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

WR- ERIC TRUVILLION, FLORIDA A&M

WR- KEN BURROUGH, TEXAS SOUTHERN

(Scout’s notes: Truvillion, another converted college quarterback, was a star in the USFL with the Tampa Bay Bandits, catching 167 passes and 30 touchdowns in less than 3 seasons; Burrough, playing anywhere else than Houston and New Orleans in the 1970s, would’ve been a Hall of Fame receiver – rangy, fast and very adept catching the deep ball; wore “00″ just like Oakland Raiders’ center Jim Otto.

BACKS:

RB- RICHARD HUNTLEY, WINSTON – SALEM STATE

RB- JOHN “FRENCHY” FUQUA, MORGAN STATE

(Scout’s notes: Huntley, like Jackson State’s Perry Harrington, was a record setter in college, but couldn’t get the reps in the pros; did put together a six-year career, coming home to the Carolina Panthers in 2001; Fuqua picked a couple of rings in Pittsburgh’s first two Super Bowl wins in the 1970s as the sartorially splendid commander of “Frenchy’s Foreign Legion.”

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DL- CARLETON OATS, FLORIDA A&M

DL- FRANK CORNISH, JR. GRAMBLING STATE

DL- LAWRENCE PILLERS, ALCORN STATE

DL- JULIUS ADAMS, TEXAS SOUTHERN

(Scout’s notes: Adams was a rare early selection; drafted in the second round by the Patriots; Adams held it down for 16 years in the pit; along with Rich “Tombstone” Jackson, one of Joe Namath’s prime torturers as a pass-rushing nightmare; Pillers earned 2 Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers, and planted Dallas Cowboy quarterback Danny White like a turnip to elevate the ‘Niners to victory in SB XVI)

LINEBACKERS:

LB- DARION CONNER, JACKSON STATE

LB- WAYMOND BRYANT, TENNESSEE STATE

LB- VINCENT BROWN, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

(Scout’s notes: Conner was a good ‘backer in the NFL, and later an impact player in the Arena League with the Tampa Bay Storm, covering 15 years of football)

SECONDARY:

CB-ASHLEY AMBROSE, MISSISISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

CB- CORNELL GORDON, NORTH CAROLINA A&T

SS – BARNEY BUSSEY, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE

FS – EDDIE ANDERSON, FORT VALLEY STATE

(Scout’s notes: Gordon, an eight year veteran and quietly efficient defender, manned the corner opposite Johnny Sample in the Super Bowl III upset of the Baltimore Colts by the New York Jets; Bussey another in a long line of ornery Bulldog defenders)

SPECIALS

P– JEREMY LICEA, ALABAMA A&M

K – PETER GAERTNER, DELAWARE STATE

KR- JEROME MATHIS, HAMPTON

PR- CLIFTON MC NEIL, GRAMBLING STATE

ST- ERNIE WARLICK, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

(Scout’s notes: Warlick, nicknamed “Big Hoss,” was a super-sub for the Buffalo Bills, scoring on a touchdown and shoring up blocking on the Bills O- line, helping the Bills win back to back AFL titles during their mid – 1960s prime; previously a CFL star with the Calgary Stampeders in the late 1950s)

Next time:If it’s been good so far, it’s now about to get serious, as we step into Hall of Fame territory. We make the cases for those who should be, but are not residing in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame; presenting the All HBC – Universe Team No. 6 and the beginning of “The Case of the Missing Busts.”