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BASN’S DIAMOND MINES – THE HBCU VIEW FROM THE DRAFT, PART I
BASN’S DIAMOND MINES – NFL DRAFT 2015
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus
(Part one of a series)
NEW HAVEN (BASN) About a decade ago, an article on a popular sports website made the suggestion that the football talent coming out of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) has been on the decline.
However, given the success of such active players like LB Robert Mathis of the Colts (Alabama A&M), WR/KR Jacoby Jones of the Chargers (Lane College), and RB Isaiah Crowell of the Browns (Alabama State), that seems to be just another myth put out there by the constantly, misinformed mainstream media.
With the NFL Draft just around the corner, we will spend the next seven days taking a brief look at some of the best draft eligible HBCU football players at each position. Some of you may not have heard of these standouts. Others who follow HBCU football – will.
But after reading this, consider yourself even more informed than the normal “draftnik”. We begin our series with a look at the quarterbacks. This group will be looking to add to the legacy of such field generals like James “Shack” Harris, Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, and the late Steve McNair.
Ben Anderson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-3, 200)
The SWAC’s preseason choice for Offensive Player of The Year in 2014, Anderson combined for over 3,000 yards of total offense and 24 TD’s in his senior year with the Golden Tigers. In 2012 as a junior, he helped lead UAPB (10-2) to their first outright SWAC title since 1966 and was named the championship game’s offensive MVP. A four-year starter, Anderson finished with over 9,000 passing yards, 2,000 rushing yards, and 80 TD’s.
Damien Fleming, Florida A&M (6-3, 210)
A four-year starter for the Rattlers, Fleming threw for over 2,000 yards for the second time in the last three seasons. In his senior season, he passed for 2,159 yards (17 TDs, 13 picks) and added 284 rushing yards and 5 TDs. A second team All-MEAC selection as a sophomore, his 7,044 career passing yards are only second to Quinn Gray in FAMU history.
Rudy Johnson, Winston-Salem State (6-2, 205)
An All-CIAA First Team selection in 2013 and a preseason All-CIAA selection in 2014, the Texas Southern transfer helped lead the Rams into the postseason the last two seasons. Part of WSSU’s two-headed QB tandem with Phillip Sims, Johnson threw for 1,201 yards with 9 TDs and 5 interceptions last year. In two seasons at WSSU, he finished with 3,183 yards (8th overall in school history) and 32 TDs (5th overall).
Jerry Lovelocke, Prairie View A&M (6-4, 248)
A four-year starter for the Panthers, Lovelocke finished the 2014 season with 2,473 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He’s passed for 39 touchdowns and 18 interceptions over the past two seasons. He earned invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine, the Gridiron Showcase Game, and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Greg McGhee, Howard (6-3, 207)
McGhee was the MEAC co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2014, leading the conference in total offense and passing. He also finished fourth in the conference in rushing and led the Bison in rushing touchdowns with 13 scores. During his career at Howard, McGhee, threw 49 touchdowns, 35 interceptions and 7,589 yards. He finished as the MEAC’s all-time leader in total offense with 10,169 yards over four seasons.
NOTE: In February, McGhee signed with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League as a free agent.
Frank Rivers, Albany State (6-6, 230)
A transfer from Grambling State, Rivers was the primary starter for ASU the past two seasons. After being named the SIAC’s Newcomer of the Year and tabbed as an All-Conference second team selection in 2013, he followed up with another strong season in 2014. In 10 games, Rivers threw for over 1,900 yards and 15 TDs (three rushing).
Phillip Simms, Winston-Salem State (6-3, 210)
A transfer from University of Virginia, Simms split time with Rudy Johnson during his lone season at WSSU and was an All-CIAA selection (second team). Prior to playing for UVa, Simms was a redshirt freshman for Alabama during their 2011 National Championship season. In 11 games for the Rams last year, he threw for 1,560 yards (118 of 198, 59.6 percent) with 15 TDs and 4 picks.
Cameron Stover, Benedict College (6-2, 200)
In 2014, Stover was named the SIAC Newcomer of the Year in his only season with the Tigers. Stover, a senior transfer from Chowan College, completed 183 of 321 passes (57 percent) for 2,136 yards. He threw for 19 touchdowns and had 10 interceptions. He averaged a league-best 237.3 yards per game. He also played in the 2014 All-American Bowl.
Keahn Wallace, Johnson C. Smith (6-2, 210)
A four-year starter, Wallace finished his senior campaign for the Golden Bulls passing for over 1,100 yards and five touchdowns. Over his career with JCSU, Wallace threw for 7,335 yards and 55 touchdowns. In 2011, Wallace was named the CIAA Freshman of the Year after throwing for 2,005 yards and 16 touchdowns in his rookie campaign. He also played in the FCS National Bowl.
NEXT: Running backs.