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BASN’S DIAMOND MINES, PART III
BASN’S DIAMOND MINES – NFL 2015
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief
(Third in a series)
NEW HAVEN (BASN) Another day brings another chapter in our preview of the best HBCU football prospects heading into the NFL Draft. If you’re a little late to the party, grab your favorite beverage and let us get you up to date.
Over the last two days, we’ve been taking a look at what we feel are the best available football players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (i.e., HBCU’s) that should get drafted in next week’s NFL shindig in Chicago.
We opened with quarterbacks and focused on running backs for day two. Now we switch over to the other “skill positions” — wide receivers and tight ends.
Historically when one thinks of great HBCU wideouts, the first name that usually comes to mind is the All-World dynamo by way of Itta Bena, Mississippi and the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State — Mr. Jerry Rice.
However as great as “Star 80″ was in leaving his mark on the college and pro game, he was also part of a tremendous legacy of HBCU wideouts that paved the way for him and the others that came afterwards.
For every Otis Taylor (Prairie View A&M) and Charlie Joiner (Grambling State), there was a Donald Driver (Alcorn State) and a John Taylor (Delaware State).
For every Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State) and Raymond Chester (Morgan State), there was a Ben Coates (Livingstone College) and a Jerome Barkum (Jackson State).
We could go on, but I think you get the gist of what I’m talking about.
Kendariss Brown, Benedict College (6-1, 221)
Brown led the SIAC in receptions with 63 and 6.3 receptions per game and was named second team All-SIAC in 2014. His 725 total yards receiving also led the conference, and his 72.5 yards receiving per game were second in the SIAC. He was also a third-team selection to the Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Region Team for Super Region 2 and played in the All-American Bowl.
Desmond Lawrence, N.C. A&T (5-10, 181)
A 2014 All-MEAC selection, Lawrence has been the Aggies’ leading receiver the last two seasons after transferring from East Carolina in 2012. He ed the Aggies in total receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and yards per game during that span. Last year, he was second on the team (877) in all-purpose yardage (389 receiving, 298 returns, 193 rushing). A track standout as well, Lawrence is a four-time first team All-MEAC performer as well as an All-American in the 100 meter dash.
Dondre Pernell, Stillman College (5-10, 185)
Has served as the Tigers’ primary wide receiver and kick returner the last two seasons. A 2013 All-SIAC selection, he caught 65 balls for 765 yards and 4 TD’s that season. He followed up with 50 catches for 587 yards and 4 TD’s in 2014. He combined for over 1,200 all-purpose yards during that period.
Julian Stafford, Mississippi Valley State (5-10, 180)
An All-SWAC selection in 2014, Stafford was the conference’s leading receiver in receptions per game (6.1) and receiving yards per game (94.3)….Finished with 67 receptions for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns…..Became the fifth player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard receiving milestone….Had a season-high 12 catches for 222 yards and a touchdown vs. Alabama State on Sept. 13, 2014….Picked up at least 100 receiving yards in six games….Also returned 26 kickoffs for 405 yards….Ranked fourth in the SWAC in all-purpose yards (131.2 per game).
Milton Williams, Delaware State (6-3, 200)
A two-time All-MEAC selection, Williams ranked third in the MEAC in receptions at 4.2 per game, and was seventh in receiving yards at 48.8 per contest this season. His 2014 totals included 50 receptions for 586 yards (11.7 ypc) and five touchdowns. Williams was a 2013 All-MEAC First Team selection after leading the league in receptions and receiving yards, and tying for the lead in touchdown catches last season.
Khari Lee, Bowie State (6-4, 235)
A three-time All-CIAA selection and a member of the 2014 D2Football.com All-America team, Lee led the Bulldogs in receptions (34) and reception yards (389), starting all 10 games in his senior season at BSU. A former walk-on, Lee caught 34 passes for 352 yards and a touchdown as a junior. He was also invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game and the Medal of Honor All-Star Bowl.
Austin Higgins, Livingstone College (6-4, 250)
An All-CIAA selection in 2014, Higgins played in nine games this season for the Blue Bears. A four-year starter, he finished the season with 25 receptions, 275 receiving yards and 3 total touchdowns.
NEXT: Offensive linemen.