HBCU 2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Conclusion

Updated: May 1, 2016
By Tony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus
NEW HAVEN (BASN) — Today we conclude our exclusive 2016 NFL Draft preview by taking an educated and unbiased peek at the best available HBCU football prospects position-by-position.
While the players from the larger predominantly white schools always get the major pub, we here at BASN have traditionally tried to show some much needed love to the talented players that toil in the MEAC, CIAA, SWAC, SIAC, and beyond.
As documented in “Four Quarters of Soul”, our comprehensive collaboration on the great HBCU players that should be the Hall of Fame, we’ll use this series to educate you on the many “diamonds in the rough” that if given the opportunity will shine forever.
The first three days, we focused on offensive players: quarterbacks and running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, and offensive lineman. The last two days, we finally went to the other side of the ball with a look at defensive lineman and linebackers.
Today we focus on the secondary and special teams. Players are listed alphabetically.
Terrick Colston, Delaware State (6-0, 190)
A three-time All-MEAC performer and four-year starter, Colston has been a mainstay on the Hornets’ defense. In 2015, he was third on the team with 82 tackles (46 solo) in 11 games. During his career at DSU, he finished with over 330 tackles and eight interceptions (4 for TDs).
Marquis Drayton, Bethune-Cookman (6-1, 201)
An All-MEAC selection in 2015, Drayton amassed 37 tackles, including 21 primary stops. He stepped in front of three passes for interceptions, taking one back 30 yards for a touchdown against Morgan State in the year’s final home game. His three interceptions allowed him to end the year tied for third in the league in that category. He would also finish the year second in the MEAC for kick return yards, averaging 23.4 yards per return. He also played in the 2016 Tropic Bowl.
Jermaine Graham, Kentucky State (6-0, 195)
An All-SIAC selection in 2015, Graham finished the year with 48 tackles while tying for the team lead with three interceptions and six pass break­ups. He also blocked two kicks and had 1.5 tackles for loss on the year. During his career at SCSU, he had 5 TD returns.
Antonio Hamilton, South Carolina State (6-0, 185)
A two-time All-MEAC performer, Hamilton was an standout as a defensive back and kick returner for the Bulldogs. In 2015, he accumulated 32 tackles (28 solo) and a team-high 580 return yards.
Peterson Janvier, Morgan State (5-10, 185)
An All-MEAC selection in 2015, Janvier played four seasons for the Bears. In 2015, he finished as the team’s third leading tackler by posting 52 stops to go along with nine tackles for loss and a forced fumble.  As a junior, Janvier posted 86 tackles (59 solo) with 3.5 tackles for a loss, collected a pair of interceptions, and had two fumble recoveries in 13 games.
Roderick Lindsey, Chowan (5-11, 180)
An All-CIAA selection in 2015, Lindsey notched 50 tackles (37 solo, 13 assisted) with four tackles for loss (five yards) over the course of his senior season.  He notched a team-high four interceptions for the Hawks (17 yards) with six pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Tony McRae, N.C. A&T (5-9, 175)
A two-time All-MEAC performer, McRae intercepted three passes and breaking up five more in 2015. In addition to being an outstanding cover man at cornerback, he was also an excellent tackler. On a team that ranked second in the nation in total defense, McRae led the Aggies in tackles with 55 and even had four tackles for loss. He was also a kickoff returner during his career, finishing his career with four returns for touchdowns including two during the 2015 season.
C.J. Moore, N.C. Central (6-2, 200)
A two-time All-MEAC performer and FCS All-America performer, Moore amassed a team-high 100 tackles (56 solo) to rank third in the MEACl and first among defensive backs in 2015. From his safety position, he collected 11.5 stops for a loss and 10 passes defended (two interceptions and eight pass break-ups) to place fourth in the league. Moore also blocked two punts, recovering one in the end zone for a touchdown. He finished his NCCU tenure with 301 tackles to rank third on the school’s career tackles list
Curtis Pumphrey, Bowie State (5-8, 155)
A three-time All-CIAA performer, Pumphrey has been one of the best defensive backs in all of college football the last three seasons. The CIAA’s Rookie of the Year in 2012, Pumphrey finished 2015 with 32 tackles (5 solo), a sack, and one fumble recovery. He also led the Bulldogs with over 300 total return yards in 8 games.
Michael Robinson, Tuskegee (6-0, 205)
A two-time All-SIAC performer, Robinson finished fourth on the team in tackles with 62, including 36 solo stops in 2015. He also recorded a pair of interceptions, returning them 58 yards… Recorded five pass breakups… Recovered one fumble… Returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown against Kentucky State… Best game came against Winston-Salem State, recording nine tackles including five solo stops… Recorded nine stops against Miles, including five solo stops.
Kevin Rucker, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5-11, 195)
A two-time All-SWAC performer, Rucker led the Golden Lions in interceptions and had 25 tackles (16 solo) in 2015. During his career at UAPB, he finished with 118 tackles (77 solo) and eight interceptions.
Ryan Smith, N.C. Central (6-0, 190)
A two-time All-MEAC performer, Smith is coming off a senior season that included all-conference recognition as both a defensive back and a return specialist. He ranked third in MEAC with team-best 11 passes defended (two interceptions and nine pass break-ups), while adding 52 tackles (38 solo). Smith also led conference and ranked 10th in the nation with an average of 28.1 yards per kickoff return (14 for 394 yards, 1 TD). Smith also impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine as he was listed among the “Top Performers” in six out of the seven workout categories among the 37 cornerbacks attending the combine.
Joshua Tate, Clark Atlanta (5-10, 175)
An All-SIAC performer and Division II All-American in 2015, Tate tallied 123 tackles, eight interceptions, and 20 pass break-ups during his career with the Panthers. His senior season started with three blocked kicks in the season-opener at Tuskegee. Over nine games, Tate intercepted five passes and broke up ten more. He also led the SIAC in passes defensed.
D’Metrius Williams, Norfolk State (6-0, 200)
An All-MEAC selection in 2015, Williams tied for the MEAC lead with 14 total passes defended, notching 12 pass deflections and two interceptions. The UMass transfer also tied for 15th nationally among FCS players with those 14 passes defended. He also had 41 total tackles (two for loss) and tied for first in the MEAC with three forced fumbles.
Cory Carter, Texas Southern (5-11, 220)
A three-time All-SWAC selection and three-time FCS All-American, Carter led the conference (3rd in FCS) with a punting averaging of 45.7 per punt.  His 45 punts in 2015 totaled 2,058 yards including a career high 87-yard punt. In 2014 as a junior, Carter also averaged 45 yards per punt for a total of 2,474 yards while also earning first team All-SWAC honors.
Brian Curry, Benedict College (6-1, 175)
An All-SIAC selection in 2015, Curry averaged 40.1 yards per punt on 65 punts. He had a season-best punt of 62 yards against Clark Atlanta, one of six punts of 50 yards or more. He also placed 20 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and 13 of his punts were not returned after a fair catch. He was also chosen for the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s 2016 NFF Hampshire Honor Society
Ryan Deising, Jackson State (5-10, 195)
A two-time All-SWAC performer, Deising finished the 2015 season going 16-21 in field goals and 24-28 in extra point kicks. He led the Tigers in scoring with 72 points. He is ranked first in the SWAC and seventh in the nation in field goals per game and 25th in the nation in field goal percentage.
Nick Hahula, Chowan (5-10, 250)
The CIAA’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2015, Hahula converted 6-11 field goals and 25-27 point after attempts.  He assisted the Hawks’ defense with 51 punts for 1,843 yards.  Fourteen of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line.  He was also a First Team selection to the 2015 National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) All-America Team.
Leonardo Manzo, Livingstone College (5-11, 185)
A two-time, All-CIAA selection, Manzo was the conference’s leading punter. He punted 27 times for 1,088 yards, while averaging 40 yards per boot. His longest of the season was 55 yards.

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