BASN’s All HBC-Universe Team, Part V

BASN’s All HBC-Universe Team, Part V

By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor

BASN

(first presented February 6, 2009)

 

Black College Football

PHILADELPHIA  (BASN BASN NEWSROOM)– As the numbers go down, the quality goes up — and the case for the next batch of Hall of Famers is presented:

FIFTH TEAM

HEAD COACH – JOE TAYLOR, WSSU/HAMPTON/FLORIDA A&M

(Scout’s notes: Taylor turned the Pirates into a MEAC power, going 136-49-1 over a 16-year span before becoming the head coach of the Rattlers last year; his previous stint at Howard University compiled his 197 – 78 – 4 slate before blowing the Rattlers’ whistle)

OFFENSE

QB – JAMES “SHACK” HARRIS, GRAMBLING STATE

(Scout’s notes: Knowing that Grambling had contributed everywhere except at quarterback, it was merely a matter of time before a quarterback would step out of the Black and Gold universe into the NFL. Harris was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and endured 13 years of trailblazing; was the league’s highest rated passer in 1976, and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1974 (and game MVP), but his talent ran full steam ahead in the face of resistance to change in the league. While Harris wasn’t given full license to do his best under center, he managed to do quite well behind the scenes in the front offices of the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars as a very capable general manager)

OFFENSIVE LINE

OL- GERALD PERRY, SOUTHERN

OL- SHERMAN PLUNKETT, MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE

OL- WILLIE YOUNG, GRAMBLING STATE

OL- HOUSTON HOOVER, JACKSON STATE

OL- VERNON HOLLAND TENNESSEE STATE

(Scout’s notes: Holland was a first -round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals (1971) who spent a decade in the league. Young was steady as a rock for the New York Giants throughout the 1960s, where he would not move from his starting spot for 10 years; Plunkett, who also played 10 years, was a true big man along the O – line, easily 60 to 75 pounds bigger than all his peers during his time (1958 – 1967). By comparison, Young played most of his career at 260-265. Nowadays, Sherm would be an average size offensive tackle, but Plunkett’s size belied his skill. He was a two – time all – AFL at guard and tackle)

RECEIVERS

TE- JIMMIE GILES, ALCORN STATE

WR- HAROLD JACKSON, JACKSON STATE*

WR- JIMMY SMITH, JACKSON STATE*

(Scout’s notes: Smith’s ordinary surname belied his talent. With 862 catches, he became the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first bona fide offensive threat after arriving in 1995. Garnering seven straight 1000 yards receiving seasons, Smith should be the first Jaguar to enter Canton; Giles showed flashes of brilliance early in his career at Tampa Bay, but of his 350 receptions, his touchdown catch from Randall Cunningham still has Giants’ linebacker Carl Banks shaking his head.)

When you watch smaller receivers like the Steelers’ Santonio Holmes and the Seahawks’ Bobby Engram today, you cannot help but to think of Harold Jackson. Jackson (5-feet-10, 175) was drafted in the 12th Round in 1968 out of HBCU powerhouse Jackson State by the Los Angeles Rams.

Though a late round draft selection, Jackson after a cup of coffee with the Rams became a household name in the NFL with Philadelphia Eagles. Starting with the 1969 season, Jackson would start a Pro Bowl level career finishing that season with 65 receptions for 1,116 yards and 9 TDs in only 14 games.

Always known for catching the ball in and out of traffic, the crafty Jackson State alum would go on to have an illustrious 16-year NFL career playing for the Eagles, Rams, Patriots, and Seahawks. In the1970s, no one caught more balls than Jackson’s 432 catches.

Jackson led the NFL in receptions in 1972; led the NFL in Receiving Yards in 1969 and 1972; and led the NFL in touchdown receptions in 1973 with thirteen. Jackson was a 5-time Pro Bowler and 1-time first-team All-Pro, finishing with Hall of Fame worthy career with numbers of 579 catches for 10,372 yards (17.9 average), and 76 TDs.

Based on this knowledge, I find it difficult to logically exclude Harold Jackson from having his bust placed in pro football’s Hall of Fame.”

BACKS

RB- WILLIE ELLISON, TEXAS SOUTHERN

RB- ESSEX JOHNSON, GRAMBLING STATE

(Scout’s notes: Like Riley, Johnson switched spots to be a Cincinnati Bengal, moving from defensive back to form a credible tandem with Paul Robinson; although Ellison ran for over 3400 yards over his 8 year career, he ran for 247 of those in one Sunday afternoon for the Los Angeles Rams, holding the single game record until he was passed by O.J. Simpson)

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DL- EZRA JOHNSON, MORRIS BROWN

DL – GARY “BIG HANDS” JOHNSON, GRAMBLING STATE

DL- BARNEY CHAVOUS, S.CAROLINA STATE

DL- HUGH DOUGLAS, CENTRAL STATE

(Scout’s notes: Ezra Johnson played 15 years and was honored by the Green Bay packers for his steady play; although Don “Air” Coryell’s San Diego Charger teams lit up the scoreboard in the 1970s and 1980s, Big Hands Johnson was a four – time defensive All-Pro on a wicked D-line; Chavous teamed up with Tombstone Jackson and made Denver Broncos’ opponents pay dearly in the pit while Douglas’ speed as a down lineman was the difference in utilizing his quirky four-point stance to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year {1995} and three Pro Bowl selections.)

LINEBACKERS:

LB – GARLAND BOYETTE, GRAMBLING STATE

LB- TYRONNE JONES, SOUTHERN*

LB- JAMES “WILD” WEST, TEXAS SOUTHERN*

EXPERT COMMENTARY

Canadian Football League Hall of Famer Damon Allen: “If you want to talk about revolutionary talent on defense in the CFL, you have to mention James “Wild Wild” West. He was 6-feet-2 and at 235 pounds was heavy for a CFL linebacker. He played the middle, but he was fast – and cat quick.

In his prime, West couldn’t be blocked by one guy; his range was vast and he hit like a sledgehammer.

His buddy, Tyronne Jones, played alongside him and his size and style was similar to Lawrence Taylor. He was most effective playing off the edge as a pass rusher, but was just as capable in run – stuffing. He could also talk your ear off during the course of a game as well!

Jones and West were teammates for several years in Winnipeg – and I hated playing the Blue Bombers there during those days with the speakers blasting Kool Moe Dee’s “Wild Wild West” every time James made a tackle.

Both these great defensive stars careers are on a par or better than anything Canadian Hall of Fame linebackers like Danny Bass or Dan Kepley did, so I can say without reservation that James West and Tyronne Jones should one day become members of the Canadian Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

 

SECONDARY:

CB – TYRONE POOLE, FORT VALLEY STATE*

CB – LLOYD MUMPHORD, TEXAS SOUTHERN

SS – SAM MADISON, FLORIDA A&M

FS – DRAYTON FLORENCE, TUSKEGEE

 

(Scout’s notes: Mumphord was part of the Miami Dolphins’ ‘No-Name’ defense that ran the table in 1972 to become pro football’s only undefeated, untied champion; Madison, while never the fastest, was one of the craftiest defenders ever; Poole spread his talents with several teams, staying in New England long enough to earn two Super Bowl rings.)

SPECIALS

P- BRANDON LARKIN, CLARK ATLANTA

K- ANDREW PATERINI, HAMPTON

KR- JOHN GILLIAM, S.CAROLINA STATE

PR- EDDIE PAYTON, JACKSON STATE

ST – RAY ALEXANDER, FLORIDA A&M

(Scout’s Notes: Gilliam will always have a place in the lore of the New Orleans Saints, scoring on a 90 yard kickoff return on their first official play as a team; it seems like the franchise went downhill from there; Alexander, a lanky receiver, made his most significant special teams play in using every bit of his 6-foot-4 frame to block a field goal on a snowy field in Calgary against the rival Stampeders in the 1994 CFL Western Division playoffs. His block helped the British Columbia Lions to win the game. The Lions would go on to win the Grey Cup, defeating the Baltimore Stallions (nee CFLers) 26 – 23; the only time in CFL history a Canadian team defeated an American one for Canada’s football championship. )

Next Time: We knock on the Hall of Fame’s door with Team No. Four!

 

michaelingram@blackathlete.com/basneditor@basnnewsroom.com

 

 

 

 

 

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