The Latest Outrage: NFL Teams Didn’t Draft Any Players From Historically Black Colleges

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The white-white-white draft pick storyline ESPN spent two weeks pushing via its blowhard TV shows was blown up when Trey Lance was selected 3rd by the 49ers. If you aren’t exhausted yet from ESPN’s race-baiting, get a load of what appears to be the next storyline pushed by the Worldwide Leader. Undefeated, ESPN’s “race, sports, culture” website, fired up the base by noting that “not a single draft pick featured a player from an [historically black college or university].”

Boy, that must be because NFL teams are racist and don’t want to give HBCU football players a chance, which they must deserve because they go to HBCUs where there’s talent that these teams are purposely overlooking, right ESPN? This must be some sort of conspiracy to attack those who attend black colleges, right?

If the NFL were so racist, then what was the story back in the late 1960s when old white men general managers were using incredible draft capital on HBCU players, as shown by charts compiled by Chase Stuart of

“Due to the segregationist policies at major universities in Texas, the south, and the southeast, top black high school athletes in the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s chose HBCUs,” Stuart wrote in 2020. “With admission to major college football limited to the west coasts, what is now Big 10 country, or the northeast, southern athletes who wanted (or needed) to stay close to home had no choice but to attend HBCUs.

“As integration occurred throughout college football in the late ’60s and early ’70s, that resulted in a departure from HBCUs and to the major programs we see today.”

While the Undefeated and Deion Sanders, who’s all fired up over HBCUs not being drafted, are firing up the base, let’s take a look at the data, which shows there were no HBCU players drafted in 2012. This was also an era when ESPN’s Mark Schlabach explained the financial disaster the HBCU found itself in and how football players now have so many mid-major options they didn’t have decades before when Grambling and Southern were pumping out all sorts of draft picks.

“Look at Louisiana,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Aenas Williams, who played at Southern, told Schlabach for that 2014 story. “Louisiana-Lafayette is a viable football program. Louisiana-Monroe and Tulane are viable programs. In the past, if a kid from Louisiana didn’t go to LSU, he might have gone to Southern or Grambling. The talent pool is still there, but now it’s dispersed more. It’s incumbent upon the HBCUs like Grambling and Southern to maximize what they do have. That’s going to be the key going forward.”

Now let’s think about the explosion of opportunities. Take for example Georgia State. The football program played its first game in 2010 and had three players drafted over the school’s first seven seasons. Grambling has had one player drafted since 2006. ONE. Grambling has had just FOUR draft picks in the 21st century. Southern has had ONE player drafted since 2000.

On the other hand, Florida International started playing football in 2002. The program has had TEN (10) players drafted over that period. Florida Atlantic started playing football in 2001. The program has had TEN (10) draft picks since its inception.

Keep all of this in mind as Deion starts railing about the 2021 draft. Keep this in your back pocket as ESPN race baits with its HBCU nonsense. NFL general managers have proven time and time again they are in the business of keeping their job and that means finding talent to throw out on a football field. If football players start going back to play at HBCUs, you can be sure the NFL talent scouts will follow.


Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. I agree completely. The Sun Belt and Conference USA have surpassed the HBCU talent level. Some schools that were at lower levels Like Georgia Southern, App State and Old Dominion are starting to put people on NFL Rosters. Anybody would have to have a Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Steve McNair or Doug Williams. They just don’t go to those schools anymore.

  2. Deon is selling ‘separate but equal’ to black young men. Think about that. Our education system has failed to teach anything about history.

    segregation created historically black colleges. integration created powerhouse sports programs at elite schools. is Deon going to recruit white players or chinese players to his program? Nope. thats not why he is there.

    wealth elite celebrities have decided that separate but unequal is the way to gooooo. Lindon Johnson was right when he passed his monumental ‘great society’ legislation in the 60’s.

    Deon doesn’t know this history. likely never read a college history book.

    • ALWAYS loved Deion Rodgers on TV (his amazing career, too), but let’s have an uncomfortable conversation with the HOFer:
      Me: “Hey Deion…no question you’re one of the greatest CBs ever to play the game. If you were asked by Nick Saban to come to Bama and be an Asst. Head Coach…or if you were asked to come to Michigan to be an Asst. Head Coach and help Michigan finally beat THE Ohio State University, as a personal challenge to you…would you consider those offers.
      Deion: “Where’s the cell phone…do you know Coach Nick, Coach Harbaugh? Give ’em a call right now, dude…I’m on the next plane. I LIVE for a challenge!!!!

  3. Pure stupidity, but quite honestly the NFL asked for this. They cowered, allowing players to protest the National anthem and coaches and players wearing BLM masks and putting thug names such as Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor on their helmets.

  4. The NFL is all about finding the best players to put on the field. Not the blackest, or whitest, or most Hispanic looking etc. It makes no difference where a player went to school it matters only that he is good enough and fills a teams need. HBCU players have to be super exceptional to even get noticed, just like every other lower tier school player. This argument is so mindless it isn’t really worth discussing but here we are. It would be one thing if all the best black football players attended HBCU’s like the article states was true in the 60’s and 70’s in many instances but just look at the amount of black millionaires the NFL creates on a yearly basis (stealing from Whitlock here). The Undefeated is an unnecessary part of ESPN and Deion is whining about fake racism.

    • Totally agree.
      One question though. Sanders went to a HBCU right? What no? Oh he went to the best program that recruited him. All sports from HS up are based on meritocracy not race, religion , or personal pronouns.

      • That’s right. If any of the HBCU players were good enough to go to Alabama, Florida St, LSU etc they would be there. Most of the players at that level either weren’t good enough to get recruited to Power 5 schools or they were recruited there and ended up in a lower level due to grades, bad attitude, breaking rules, etc. Just more whining about non issues.

  5. So do the race grifters want segregation or integration?

    Don’t answer that…I know their narrative is to find racism in both for money and fame. Meanwhile more black people die at the hands of each other.

  6. Just lost all respect for Sanders. As usual cretins and race-baiters are looking for racism where there is none. It is no secret that HBCU have been struggling financially, athletically AND academically, and this will only worsen as colleges around the country desperately seek black students for admission who are even marginally qualified. As a parting shot, Trump did more to boost HBCU in the past decade than anyone, but that of course has been ignored by the corrupt propaganda media.

  7. Did they show the breakdown of players based on race to make sure it is representative of the NFL audience. What % were black, Asian, Native American, white and Hispanic? NFL may need an affirmative action program to represent the population. Merit???? is not the progressive way – where is the equity?

  8. This is life’s way of saying, “get woke, go broke”. A lot of these players thought that by not going to major colleges and having to actually compete, they thought they’d get woke and go to a HBCU school and get a chance to cut in line. They felt that, hell, it works in the welfare system, why not here?!

  9. These people are never going to be happy the chicom league is what 98% black the national felon league is 70% black at least and they just continue to whine and complain can you imagine if those numbers were white they be hollering does this look like America ?smfh

  10. Time to replace Mr. Irrelevant to the Irrelevant round dedicated to symbolism over substance, so we can check all of the boxes. It won’t matter. They’ll still find something to complain about.

  11. Why would HBCU get draftees when all the most talented black players are going to FBS? This is one of the most stupid and logic devoid things I’ve ever heard. Two seconds of thought would save people from even thinking about this being a problem. As for Deion he’s just trying to promote his school and league and I don’t really have a problem with it. He’s hardly race baiting.

  12. The usual race-baiting recidivist offenders — Screamin’ A, Hill, Karen Rovell, Iceberg, Dumber and Dumber Jr., Kellerstein — should all be in their hate orgasms at this point…

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