By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus
To say sports fans have undergone extreme withdrawal symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic would be a major understatement. However, later this month, they may get their first reprieve.
The NFL (as of press time) have stated they will still put on their annual College Draft extravaganza on April 23-25. Originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, all draft activities will be held on-line while being broadcast by the NFL Network, ABC, and ESPN Networks.
Today, we continue with our annual look at the best HBCU football players that are eligible for this year’s draft. It gives our readers a look back at some of the outstanding performers of the past season who hope to turn their Saturday dreams into Sunday realities.
Our last piece featured the running backs. Up next, wideouts and tight ends quarterbacks
Kyle Anthony, Howard
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder finished his career as Howard’s all-time career reception leader. Anthony amassed 70 receptions for 786 yards and seven touchdowns. The 3-time All-MEAC selection from Miramar, Fla. recorded a career-high 12-receptions versus Hampton University on Sept. 14 in Chicago. Anthony was also selected to the 2019 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List and was invited to the 2020 FCS Bowl and the 2020 Tropical Bowl.
Manasseh Bailey, Morgan State
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bailey finished the 2019 season as a member of the 2019 All-MEAC Team and set school records in a number of categories during his final collegiate season. The Capitol Heights, Md. native finished the season ranked 3rd in the MEAC in receiving yards (996 yds) – it ranks as the 2nd highest total in Morgan State history behind Clarence Holzendorf (1,702 yds; 1993). Bailey also ranked among the league leaders: 3rd in reception TDs (10), 4th in receptions (54), 6th in scoring TDs (11), and 8th in scoring (68 pts).
Elijah Bell, North Carolina A&T
The Wheeling, West Va. native ended his career as perhaps the best receiver in school history. He owns the Aggies’ record in receptions (202), receiving yards (2,980), receiving touchdowns (33), and touchdown receptions in a season with 11. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder finished his career fifth all-time on the MEAC receiving yards list. He is only one of five receivers in MEAC history with 200-plus career receptions. Bell also finished fourth on the MEAC’s all-time touchdown receptions list.
De’Montrez Burroughs, South Carolina State
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has been one of the MEAC’s best wideouts over the last two seasons. A two-time All-MEAC selection, Burroughs finished last season with a team-high 46 catches for 938 yards (20.3 avg) and 13 touchdowns. In the Bulldogs’ 62-21 win over Howard on November 9th, Burrough set a school record with 5 touchdown receptions. The Charlotte, N.C. native finished the game with 7 catches for 140 yards.
Steven Newbold, Tennessee State
An All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, Newbold posted a career year with 59 receptions for 823 yards and six touchdowns. The Carol City, Fla. native finished fifth in the OVC in receptions per game (4.9) and seventh in receiving yards per game (68.6).
Jimmie Robinson, Bethune-Cookman
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Robinson was named twice as an All-MEAC First Team return specialist and Second Team wide receiver. The native of Palm Coast, Fla. led the MEAC and was third in the nation in kickoff returns (28.1 yard average with one touchdown), 21st in the nation in all purpose yards (126.27 ypg) and eighth in blocked kicks (two).
Chris Rowland, Tennessee State
The 2019 Black College Football Player of the Year, Rowland set an HBCU record with 104 receptions during the season, eclipsing the old mark of 103 set by Jerry Rice in 1984. The Nolensville, Tenn. native was named First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) as a wide receiver and return specialist. Rowland led the Conference in receptions, yards (1,437) and all-purpose yards (2,110), and was named OVC Offensive Player of the Year. He was the only Division I player (FBS or FCS) to score a touchdown via kick return, punt return, reception and rushing. After leading the nation in receiving yards per game (119.8), The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Rowland was selected to play in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl. He was also a Finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Marcus Williams, Florida A&M
The Miami native worked his way on the All-MEAC Second Team as a return specialist. Williams returned 18 kickoffs for 484 yards and one touchdown. Against Delaware State, Williams returned a kickoff 94 yards for a score. As a receiver, Williams caught 32 passes for 384 yards and 4 TDs through eight games. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder caught the game winning touchdown pass against in overtime against North Carolina A&T.
Dushon David, Bowie State
An All-CIAA selection in 2019, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound David was a huge part of the Bulldogs’ offensive attack that averaged 39 points and 422 yards of total offense per game. The Washington D.C. native had 40 receptions while averaging 16 yards per catch. Dushon also had 2 games of over 100 yards receiving, including a season-high 117 yards on Sept. 28 in the 54-6 win over St. Aug’s.
Jordan Jones, Prairie View A&M
A two-time All-SWAC honoree, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Jones hauled in 56 grabs for 963 yards and 11 touchdowns in his collegiate career. Last season the Frisco, Tex. native caught 28 passes (2nd on the team) for 497 yards and 6 TDs as part of the Panthers’ third-ranked passing offense. Jones’ best outing of the season was a six-catch, 119-yard effort versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Kevonta Moses, Shaw
The native of Fort Myers, Fla. led the Bears receiving unit with 37 receptions for 510 yards and nine touchdowns this past season. The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder is a two-time All-CIAA recipient, earning Second Team All-CIAA honors during his senior campaign. Moses was also named to the 2019 Don Hansen Super Region Second Team.
NEXT: Offensive Lineman.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at email@example.com.