The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday the creation of the HBCU Legacy Bowl, a postseason all-star game that will showcase top NFL draft-eligible players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The game will take place at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans on the Saturday after Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.
About 100 of the best HBCU players will be invited to participate. The week-long event will be a celebration of Black culture and history, and bring attention to the top NFL-draft eligible players. It will be broadcast on the NFL Network.
“The HBCU Legacy Bowl means opportunity and exposure for HBCU players and coaches,” said co-founder and inductee Doug Williams. “We’re excited to have this in New Orleans, especially during Black History Month.”
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in 2009 by Williams and James “Shack” Harris. Since its inception there have been 90 inductees. Over the years, the group has worked with the NFL to provide scholarship money to HBCUs, as well as an annual quarterback coaching summit. The organization has raised over $300,000 in scholarships and HBCU football program grants.
The all-star game will help spotlight talented athletes and benefit HBCUs in recruiting by demonstrating to prospective college athletes an opportunity for a pro football showcase for players at such schools.
Some of the greatest football players to come out of HBCUs include Jerry Rice from Mississippi Valley State, Walter Payton from Jackson State, and Steve McNair from Alcorn State.
“HBCUs are a bridge to equality,” said Harris. “We thank the NFL for their support and in sharing our commitment to lifting up others.”
On social media, users expressed excitement about the new initiative.
“This is major!!!” tweeted former NFL quarterback Tory Woodbury. Woodbury is also a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, an HBCU located in North Carolina.