The NFL HBCU Report

By Lloyd Vance, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 10, 2009

NFL PHILADELPHIA (BASN) — As of last Saturday, NFL rosters have been finalized for the start of the regular season. Once again, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have produced a considerable amount of talent that will be on display this season in the NFL.

Following in the tradition of Hall of Fame players Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore), Willie Lanier (Morgan State), Willie Davis (Grambling State), John Stallworth (Alabama A&M) and others, there are currently 44 talented former HBCU football players on NFL rosters — includes injured reserve and practice squads.

Several of the former HBCU players are considered high-impact players for their respective teams going into the 2009 NFL season including Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea (Howard), Jacksonville Jaguars former Pro Bowl corner back Rashean Mathis (Bethune-Cookman) and Green Bay Packers 11-year veteran receiver Donald Driver (Alcorn State).

Leading the way in terms of HBCU talent for the 2009 NFL regular season are the Jacksonville Jaguars (5), Detroit Lions (4), Dallas Cowboys (3), Indianapolis Colts (3), Minnesota Vikings (3) and Philadelphia Eagles (3).

Surprisingly the Saints, Giants, Bears, Niners, Redskins, Raiders, Patriots, Chargers, and Seahawks don’t have a single HBCU player on their current rosters.

Keep an eye on NFL game days for the following HBCU players

Arizona Cardinals

29 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, 6’2″ 185, 4/7/1986, 2nd-year, Tennessee State

32 Greg Toler, CB, 6’0″ 191, 1/2/1985, rookie, St. Paul’s College (VA)

Atlanta Falcons

14 Eric Weems, WR, 5’9″ 194, 7/4/1985, 2nd year, Bethune-Cookman

Baltimore Ravens

96 Lamar Divens, DT, 6’3″ 338, 11/12/1985, 2nd year, Tennessee State

41 Frank Walker, CB, 5’11″ 200, 8/6/1981, 7th year, Tuskegee

Buffalo Bills

29 Drayton Florence, CB, 6’0″ 195, 12/19/1980, 7th year, Tuskegee

Carolina Panthers

21 Dante Wesley, DB, 6’1″ 210, 4/5/1979, 8th year, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Cincinnati Bengals

24Geoffrey Pope, CB, 6’0″ 186, 6/21/1984, 2nd year, Howard

Cleveland Browns

51 Alex Hall, LB, 6’5″ 250 8/17/1985, 2nd year, St. Augustine’s

Dallas Cowboys

92 Marcus Dixon, DE, 6’4″ 285, 9/16/1984, 1st year, Hampton (Practice Squad)

97 Jason Hatcher, DE, 6’6″ 304, 7/13/1982, 4th year, Grambling State

98 Curtis Johnson, DE, 6’3″ 237, 2/16/1985, 2nd year, Clark Atlanta

Denver Broncos

75 Chris Baker, DE, 6’2″ 326, 10/8/1987, rookie, Hampton

Detroit Lions

74 Damion Cook, OG, 6’5″ 330, 4/16/1979, 9th year, Bethune-Cookman (injured reserve)

79 Sammie Lee Hill, DT, 6’4″ 331, 11/8/1986, rookie, Stillman

24 Kalvin Pearson, FS, 5’10″ 200, 10/22/1978, 5th year, Grambling State

Green Bay Packers

36 Nick Collins, FS, 5’11″ 207, 8/16/1983, 5th year, Bethune-Cookman

80 Donald Driver, WR, 6’0″ 194, 2/2/1975, 11th year, Alcorn State

Houston Texans

12 Jacoby Jones, WR, 6’2″ 206, 7/11/1984, 3rd year, Lane

Indianapolis Colts

41 Antoine Bethea, FS, 5’11″ 203, 7/7/1984, 4th year, Howard

98 Robert Mathis, DE, 6’2″ 245, 2/26/1981, 7th year, Alabama A&M

35 Chad Simpson, RB, 5’9″ 216, 8/22/1985, 2nd year, Morgan State

Jacksonville Jaguars

22 Don Carey, CB, 5’11″ 186, 2/14/1987, rookie, Norfolk State (Injured Reserve)

56 Justin Durant, OLB, 6’1″ 240, 9/20/1985, 3rd year, Hampton

16 Nate Hughes, WR, 6’2″ 195, 1/18/1985, 1st year, Alcorn State

27 Rashean Mathis, CB, 6’1″ 193, 8/27/1980, 7th year, Bethune-Cookman

38 Brian Witherspoon, DB, 5’10″ 180, 6/5/1985, 2nd year, Stillman

Kansas City Chiefs

22 Jackie Bates, DB, 5’10″ 180, 10/12/1986, rookie, Hampton (Practice Squad)

40 Javarris Williams, RB, 5’10″ 223, 4/8/1986, rookie, Tennessee State (Practice Squad)

Miami Dolphins

27 Will Billingsley, CB, 5’10″ 195, 4/23/1984, 1st year, North Carolina A&T (Practice Squad)

70 Kendall Langford, DE, 6’6″ 295 1/27/1986 2 Hampton

Minnesota Vikings

7 Tarvaris Jackson, QB, 6’2″ 225, 4/21/1983, 4th year, Alabama State

11Jaymar Johnson, WR, 6’0″ 176, 7/10/1984, 1st year, Jackson State

81 Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, 6’4″ 250, 6/18/1980, 7th year, Morgan State

New York Jets

93 Marques Douglas, DE, 6’2″ 290, 3/15/1977, 9th year, Howard

Philadelphia Eagles

67 Jamaal Jackson, C, 6’4″ 330, 5/8/1980, 6th year, Delaware State

23 Dimitri Patterson, DB, 5’10″ 190, 6/18/1983, 4th year, Tuskegee

54 Tracy White, LB, 6’0″ 230, 4/14/1981, 7th year, Howard

Pittsburgh Steelers

33 Isaac Redman, RB, 6’0″ 230, 11/10/1984, rookie, Bowie State (Practice Squad)

St. Louis Rams

24 Ronald Bartell, CB, 6’1″ 205, 2/22/1982, 5th year, Howard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

77 James Lee, OT, 6’4″ 305, 8/17/1985, 2nd year, South Carolina State (Practice Squad)

Tennessee Titans

20 Nick Harper, CB, 5’10″ 182, 9/10/1974, 9th year, Fort Valley State

16 Phillip Morris, WR, 6’3″ 175, 7/2/1986, rookie, South Carolina State (Practice Squad)

Other notable free agents that were on rosters during 2009 NFL training camps (last team that they were with)

Onrea Jones, WR, 6’0″ 202, 12/22/1983, 1st year, Hampton (Cardinals)

Lonnie Harvey, DT, 6’3″ 342, 1/20/1987, rookie, Morgan State (Panthers)

Jamall Lee, RB, 6’1″ 225 3/13/1987, rookie, Bishop (Panthers)

Pernell Phillips, DT, 6’0″ 311, 4/5/1985, rookie, Central State (Ohio) (Bengals)

Charles Ali, FB, 6’2″ 255, 8/23/1984, 3Rd year, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Browns)

Lee Robinson, OLB, 6’3″ 245, 4/23/1987, rookie, Alcorn State (Broncos)

Rashod Moulton, 5’11″ 184, 11/6/1980, 1st year, Fort Valley State (Broncos)

Chartric Darby, NT, 6’0″ 302, 10/22/1975, 9th year, South Carolina State (Lions)

Brandon Torrey, OT, 6’4″ 295, 5/18/1983, 1st year, Howard (Texans)

Michael Coe, CB, 6’0″ 190, 12/17/1983, 3rd year, Alabama State (Colts)

Rudolph Hardie, DE, 6’2″ 269, 10/8/1985 1st year, Howard (Colts)

Cecil Newton, C, 6’2″ 310, 3/20/1986, rookie, Tennessee State (Jaguars)

Alfonso Boone, DE, 6’3″ 305, 1/11/1976, 9, Central State (Ohio) (Chiefs)

Louis Ellis, NT, 6’2″ 315, 10/7/1985, rookie, Shaw (Dolphins)

Greg Fassitt, CB, 5’11″ 186, 4/4/1985, 1st year, Grambling State (Saints)

Cliff Louis, OT, 6’8″ 315, 8/24/1984, 1st year, Morgan State (Giants)

Nevin McCaskill, OT, 6’4″ 300, 12/29/1983, 1st year, Hampton (Jets)

Shaheer McBride, WR, 6’2″ 205, 2/6/1985, 1st year, Delaware State (Eagles)

Cortez Hankton, WR, 6’0″ 200, 1/20/1981, 6th year, Texas Southern (Buccaneers)

Alonzo Coleman, RB, 5’9″ 210, 1/27/1984, 1st year, Hampton (Cowboys)

Marcus Benard, LB, 6’2″ 256, 7/26/1985, rookie, Jackson State (Browns)

Jermaine McGhee, DE, 6’3″ 242, 12/31/1983, rookie, Prairie View A&M (Bills)