HBCU gridders set to perform in Houston

By Tony McClean
Updated: January 11, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — A member of the 2008 BoxToRow.com/BASN HBCU All-America Team along three other black college football standouts will be showing off their talents at the 84th East- West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Saturday, January 17 at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium.

Tennessee State running back Javarris Williams and his teammate, center Cecil Newton as well as Norfolk State defensive back Don Carey and Stillman College lineman Samie Lee Hill will play for the East squad coached by former Maryland, Georgia Tech, Army and NFL head coach Bobby Ross.

A 5-foot-11, 220-pound native of Richmond, Texas, Williams was named to the 2008 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches All-America 1st team and was a First Team selection for the BTRC/BASN All-America squad.

He’s also the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in rushing average (103.7 ypg) last season often running behind blocks by teammate Newton.

An All-Ohio Valley selection, Newton is a four-year letterman and the leader of a TSU line that led the OVC with an average of nearly 200 yards (195.8) per game.

A 6-foot-2, 302-pounder from Atlanta, Newton has helped Williams gain over 1,000 yards the last three seasons.

Carey earned All-MEAC second-team distinction each of the last two seasons. He tallied 10 interceptions in his career, and tied for the MEAC-lead with five picks this past season.

The three-time member of the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic team ended his career with 173 tackles, 34 pass deflections, four fumble recoveries, two blocked extra points and two defensive touchdowns, both coming in 2008.

Hill, a native of West Brockton, Alabama, was first team All-SIAC in 2008. He finished the season with 59 tackles, 15.5 for losses totaling 81 yards, 7.5 sacks. seven pass breakups, eight QB hurries and three fumble recoveries.

The East-West Shrine Game is the oldest and one of the most respected of the post-season collegiate bowl games. Since 1925, the game has been known for the quality of the players and coaches, as well as for the excitement of great college football action.

The West team will be led by former Alabama coach Gene Stallings.

The game will be seen on ESPN2 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.