Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
BASN’S DIAMOND MINES, PART II
BASN’S DIAMOND MINES – NFL DRAFT 2015
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus
(Part two of a series)
NEW HAVEN (BASN) As we inch ever so close to the NFL’s edition of “American Idol” (aka, the NFL Draft), we continue our brief look at the best available HBCU football talent coming out this season.
We will take a look at players from all positions — offensively and defensively. Yesterday,we examined the field generals. Today, we’ll remain in the backfield as we chop it up about the running backs.
With more of an emphasis on passing the ball — whether it be the West Coast offense or a hybrid of the spread offense — the traditional way teams look at and use running backs has gradually changed.
It’s changed to the point that the position has all but been devalued and forgotten in the college and pro game. As much as I like and appreciate seeing the ball in the air, football has always been and always will need the running game.
It’s just hard for me to fathom the fact that today’s game couldn’t use the help of such former HBCU standouts like Paul “Tank” Younger (Grambling State), the man who broke the barrier for all Black College players back in the league’s infancy. Not to mention Hall of Famers like Cleveland’s Leroy Kelly (Morgan State) and Chicago’s Walter Payton (Jackson State) as well as recent contemporaries like Isaac Redman (Bowie State).
Andre Clarke, N.C. Central (5-10, 230)
A 2014 All-MEAC selection, Clarke tied for the league lead with 15 rushing touchdowns, which ranks second on the NCCU single-season list. He topped the Eagles with 723 rushing yards for an average of 4.6 yards per carry and 60.2 yards per game. He finished his four years at NCCU with 30th career rushing touchdowns (second in school history)
Malcolm Cyrus, Alabama State (5-10, 180)
The SWAC’s 2014 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Cyrus finished as the nation’s seventh leading rusher among all FCS teams with 1,662 yards. His 138.5 rushing yards per game was fifth nationally and his 2,076 all-purpose yards came out to 173 all-purpose yards per game and had him ranked fifth nationally as well. He was named to the American Urban Radio Network SBN Sports 2014 Black College All-American team.
Jacquise Lockette. Kentucky State (6-2, 230)
A two-time, All-SIAC selection, Lockette finished his senior season with a team-high 1,154 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. A year earlier, he was responsible for 31 percent of the Thorobreds’ total offense accounting for a team-best 16 touchdowns. He was also chosen for the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All Super Region Two squad and played in the FCS All-Star Game. Lockett was also tabbed for preseason All-American honors from CDFL and USA College Football.
Jorrian Washington, Hampton (5-9, 180)
A 2014 All-MEAC selection, Washington led the MEAC in all-purpose yards this season, averaging 152.6 per contest. His 75.8 rushing yards per contest were also the fourth-best in the conference, and Washington led the team with 834 rushing yards on the season. He had two 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 176 yards against South Carolina State. He also had 113 receiving yards against William & Mary.
NEXT: Wide Receivers.