Congrats to the 4 #HBCU players selected in #NFLDraft
•Joshua Williams – #FayettevilleState – 4th Round, 135
•Decobie Durant – #SCState – 4th Round, 142
•James Houston IV – #JacksonState – 6th Round, 217
•Ja’Tyre Carter – #Southern – 7th Round, 226 pic.twitter.com/3ndetiWRmv
— HBCU Alum (@hbcualum) May 1, 2022
Here’s the rundown on these 4 talented football stars.
FOUR HBCU players selected in the 2022 @NFLDraft.
That’s 4x the last two years combined and matches the best results over the last 11 years (2011, 2015, 2017 & 2019).@NFL @nflnetwork @HBCULegacyBowl @Jwilliofficial@One4_era@Jthouston_4@CarterJaTyre pic.twitter.com/mMQFoCwj9n
— BlackCollegeFootball (@BCFHOF) April 30, 2022
Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State University)
Williams being called notably comes about a year after no HBCU athletes were recruited in the 2021 draft, as Blavity previously reported.
“Thank you to everyone who congratulated me and helped me get to this point,” the Fayetteville State student said of his accomplishment. “I give 100% of the glory to my lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
2022 First HBCU NFL Draft Selection
The Kansas City Chiefs Select DB Joshua Williams Fayetteville State University 4th Round pic.twitter.com/XYxcgQrCHz
— HBCU Premier Sports & News (@HBCUSports1) April 30, 2022
Decobie Durant (South Carolina State University)
“Been a dream since a kid,” Durant wrote on Instagram. “Earned Not Given…Let’s Work.”
— SC State University (@SCSTATE1896) April 30, 2022
James Houston IV (Jackson State University)
“Feels crazy. Just relief and pride. So happy to be a part of the Lion’s organization,” Houston said.
— NFL (@NFL) April 30, 2022
Ja'Tyre Carter (Southern University)
He was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 7th round, becoming the No. 226 overall draft pick.
“Bear Down,” he succinctly said of his new team.
— For The Culture HBCU (@4theculturehbcu) April 30, 2022
In response to these 4 top-notch HBCU stars getting drafted, Deion Sanders — Jackson State’s head football coach and an outspoken advocate for HBCU athletes — expressed his excitement on Instagram.
“NFL, I ain’t mad at ‘cha!” Sanders said. “I ain’t mad at ‘cha, baby! We got about two more in us, though! We got about two more in us to get drafted today, and that does not count all the free agents. Don’t forget about the free agents.”
“Everybody that has anything to do with an HBCU, you should be shouting right now and dancing,” he added.
Speaking of free agents, it’s worth noting that — while Alabama A&M star Aqueel Glass wasn’t called during the draft — he ultimately received an invitation from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to attend a rookie minicamp. Other stars like Markquese Bell of Florida A&M University also received rookie minicamp invitations.
HBCU Free agent contract potentials
*Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M
*Jah-Maine Martin, RB, North Carolina A&T
*Markquese Bell, DB , Florida A&M
*Louis Chandler, OL, Langston
*Isiah Macklin, TE, North Carolina Central
*CJ Holmes, DB, Jackson State
— TimeoutSPORTS__ (@TimeoutSPORTS3) April 30, 2022
Shoutout to these top-tier HBCU stars-turned-NFL rookies!