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Friday, June 14, 2024

HBCU football players shut out in NFL draft. But these players still signed with teams

The 2024 NFL Draft has come and gone without a single HBCU player selected in 257 picks. This marks the first time since 2020 that no Black College football player was taken.

They will now move on to the next step, which is looking to be acquired in the undrafted free-agent market.

Here are the players who got the call and where they will play.

Grambling State DE Sundiata Anderson, Seattle Seahawks

Grambling State defensive lineman Sundiata Anderson was one of the more surprising players who did not hear their name called in the draft.

Anderson is heading out west, signing with the Seattle Seahawks.

The former Tiger played five full seasons with the team (not including the 2021 spring season), putting up 136 total tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 14.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two passes defended.

North Carolina Central DB Brandon Codrington, New York Jets (minicamp invite)

North Carolina Central defensive back Brandon Codrington is taking his diverse skill set to the NFL and has received an invite to the New York Jets rookie minicamp.

Codrington is not only a player who can make an impact on the defensive side of the ball, recording 93 career tackles and ten pass breakups, but he is also a strong asset on special teams as a return specialist.

He scored four return touchdowns in his career, including three on punts, averaging nearly 16.5 yards per attempt on 130 total attempts.

The former Eagle was named to two All-MEAC teams, including in 2021 when he was named to the first team.

North Carolina A&T WR Taymon Cooke, New York Jets (minicamp invite)

Taymon Cooke will be representing the Aggies in the NFL as he participates in the New York Jets rookie minicamp.

Cooke transferred to North Carolina A&T in 2019 from Marshall University, doubling as a threat in the receiving and return game.

This past season, he had his breakout year as a kick returner, averaging 34.2 yards on 16 attempts, scoring three touchdowns, and being named to the All-CAA First Team.

Howard OT Anim Dankwah, Philadelphia Eagles

Anim Dankwah will look to make an impact in the NFC East as he signs on with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Measuring a massive 6’8, 362 pounds, Dankwah was a difference maker for the Bison, being selected to two All-MEAC First Teams and an All-MEAC Second Team in his four seasons.

This included a 2023 season in which he helped the Bison clinch its first outright MEAC title since 1993, securing a spot in the Celebration Bowl.

Benedict QB Aeneas Dennis, Pittsburgh Steelers (minicamp invite)

The first quarterback to hear his name called is Benedict’s Aeneas Dennis, who will look to make his mark on the Steel City by receiving a rookie minicamp invite from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dennis played one season with the Tigers, transferring to the team from Shorter University. He helped lead the team to its second straight undefeated regular season and SIAC championship.

The former Tiger finished with 3,098 passing yards, completing 63% of his passes and scoring 23 touchdowns. He also added 244 rushing yards on 66 attempts and scored three touchdowns.

Virginia State CB Willie Drew, Carolina Panthers

Virginia State cornerback Willie Drew is the first Division II player to get a call from an NFL team, signing with the Carolina Panthers.

Drew played three seasons at Virginia State, transferring to the team in 2021 from James Madison.

He accumulated 99 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 11 interceptions, 39 passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

In 2023, he was named the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year.

South Carolina State DL Patrick Godbolt, New York Jets (minicamp invite)

The South Carolina State to NFL pipeline adds one more player to the list, with Patrick Godbolt fielding an invite from the New York Jets minicamp.

In his four seasons with South Carolina State, Godbolt was named to three All-MEAC teams, including two First Team selections.

He helped lead the Bulldogs to the Celebration Bowl in 2021 producing five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, and a forced fumble in the game.

South Carolina State DE Jeblonski Green, Indianapolis Colts (minicamp invite)

Goldbolt is not the only South Carolina State representative making his way to the NFL. Jeblonski Green is set to participate in the Indianapolis Colts rookie minicamp.

Green played five seasons with the Bulldogs and was also a member of the 2021 team that won the Celebration Bowl.

It was in the 2021 season that Green was named to the All-MEAC First Team.

Alabama A&M DE Zareon Hayes, Denver Broncos (minicamp invite)

The reigning HBCU Legacy Bowl Defensive MVP Zareon Hayes is going to the Mile High City to take part in the Denver Broncos rookie minicamp.

Transferring to Alabama A&M from Appalachian State, Hayes spent the last two seasons with the Bulldogs being named to the All-SWAC Second Team each year.

He recorded 95 total tackles, 27.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two passes defended in his time at Alabama A&M.

Texas Southern OG Aidan Hemphill, Indianapolis Colts (minicamp invite)

Joining Green in Indianapolis is Texas Southern offensive guard Aidan Hemphill, who has been invited to the team’s rookie minicamp.

Hemphill played a pivotal role on a 2022 Texas Southern offense that ranked fourth in the SWAC in scoring and third in rushing.

Alcorn State RB Jarveon Howard, Green Bay Packers

For the second year in a row, the Green Bay Packers signed an HBCU running back as an undrafted free agent, picking up Jarveon Howard from Alcorn State.

Howard transferred to Alcorn from Syracuse, playing his final two seasons with the team.

He compiled 2,048 rushing yards on 403 attempts and scored 19 touchdowns, being named to the All-SWAC First Team each year.

Delaware State RB Michael Chris-Ike, New York Jets (minicamp invite)

Another running back making his way to the next level is Delaware State’s Michael Chris-Ike, who is getting a rookie minicamp invite from the New York Jets.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Ike had been with Delaware State since 2018, except for the 2019 season, which he missed.

The 225-pound running back finished his career with 724 rushing yards and scored five rushing touchdowns.

Florida A&M RB Terrell Jennings, New England Patriots (minicamp invite)

Longtime Florida A&M running back will get his shot to play in the NFL when he travels to Foxborough to take part in the New England Patriots rookie minicamp.

The longest-tenured Rattler to get an NFL call, Jennings had been with the team since 2019. He finished his career with 1,754 rushing yards scoring 24 touchdowns adding 19 receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown.

Jennings had the best season of his career this past year, producing 673 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

Florida A&M LB Isaiah Major, New Orleans Saints (minicamp invite)

The reigning SWAC Defensive Player of the Year has made his way to the NFL as Isaiah Major will participate in the New Orleans Saints rookie minicamp.

Major transferred to Florida A&M in 2022 from Independence Community College and made an immediate impact upon arrival.

He put up 189 total tackles, 26.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, two interceptions, seven passes defended, and two fumble recoveries. He was named to the All-SWAC First Team each year.

The former SWAC DPOY put the finishing touches on the Rattlers’ Celebration Bowl victory, recording the game-winning interception.

Winston-Salem State WR RJ Mobley, Chicago Bears (minicamp invite)

Following an impressive showing at the HBCU Combine, RJ Mobley will look to make a similar impression as he gears up for the Chicago Bears rookie minicamp.

Transferring to Winston-Salem State from Wingate in 2022, Mobley finished with 1,040 receiving yards on 64 receptions and scored 12 touchdowns in his two seasons with the team.

He was selected to the All-CIAA First Team this past season.

Florida A&M QB Jeremy Moussa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (minicamp invite)

Jeremy Moussa was the first player from the defending SWAC champions to get an NFL call, receiving a rookie minicamp invite from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Moussa played two seasons with the Rattlers, transferring from the University of Vanderbilt in 2022.

The 2023 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year passed for 5,625 yards, completing 58% of his passes and scoring 43 touchdowns. He also scored three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown.

Moussa helped lead the Rattlers to its first SWAC championship and a win in the Celebration Bowl this past year.

Savannah State/North Carolina Central/Morgan State WR Treveyon Pratt, Tennessee Titans (minicamp invite)

Multi-HBCU player Treveyon Pratt will get his opportunity to prove he is NFL-ready when he takes on the Tennessee Titans rookie minicamp.

After starting his career at Savannah State where he played one season, Pratt went on to play three seasons at North Carolina Central before ending his college run at Morgan State.

He had his breakout season with Morgan State catching 25 passes for 357 yards and scoring three touchdowns.

Bethune-Cookman/Florida A&M WR Marcus Riley, New York Jets

Rounding out the list of SWAC champion Florida A&M Rattlers, who will get their shot in the NFL, is wide receiver Marcus Riley, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets.

Riley transferred to Bethune-Cookman in 2019 from Louisville, where he played three seasons with the team before ending his college career with Florida A&M.

He compiled 108 receptions for 1,579 receiving yards and scored 11 touchdowns in his time with both teams. He was also an asset in the return game for the Rattlers, with 342 kick return yards on 11 attempts, scoring a touchdown.

North Carolina A&T OT Tairiq Stewart, New England Patriots (minicamp invite)

North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Tairiq Stewart will get his shot at the pro level, receiving a rookie minicamp invite from the New England Patriots.

The 6’6, 300-pound offensive lineman transferred to the Aggies in 2021 from ASA Brooklyn.

Stewart was named to the All-Big South First Team in 2022, anchoring an offensive line that gave up the fewest sacks in the conference.

He was also named to the All-CAA Second Team this past year.

Morgan State DB Jordan Toles, Baltimore Ravens

Morgan State defensive back Jordan Toles remains in Charm City, signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

A Baltimore native, Toles played two seasons at Morgan State, transferring to the team from Louisiana State University.

He compiled 114 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, four interceptions, seven passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two blocked kicks in his time with the Bears.

Toles was selected to the All-MEAC First Team in the 2023 season.

Alabama State CB Mikey Victor, New England Patriots.

Joining fellow SWAC cornerback Isaiah Bolden in Foxborough is Alabama State corner Mikey Victor, who is signing with the New England Patriots.

Victor finished with 55 total tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions, 21 passes defended, and a fumble recovery in two seasons playing for the Hornets.

He was named to the All-SWAC Second Team in the 2023 season.

Morgan State LB Noah Washington, Minnesota Vikings (minicamp invite)

The second Morgan State defender to find his way to an NFL rookie minicamp is linebacker Noah Washington, who received an invite from the Minnesota Vikings.

Washington played this past season with the Bears, transferring to the team from Central Connecticut State.

He recorded 35 total tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and three passes defended.

Howard RB Ian Wheeler, Chicago Bears

Making his way to the Windy City is former Howard running back Ian Wheeler, signing with the Chicago Bears.

In his four seasons playing with the Bison, Wheeler was a dual threat in the backfield and on special teams as a return specialist.

He posted 1,154 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns, adding 23 receptions for 234 yards and a touchdown. He also produced 1,322 kickoff return yards on 52 attempts and scored three touchdowns.

Wheeler was named to the All-MEAC Second Team in his last three seasons.

Our HBCU undrafted free-agent tracker will be updated as players sign.

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