The Reese’s Senior Bowl and the National Football League have formed another player evaluation partnership. The entities will join forces to hold a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Combine at the University of South Alabama.
The HBCU Combine will provide invited players from HBCU conferences — Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) — the opportunity to display their skills in front of NFL scouts prior to the NFL Draft.
The HBCU Combine is scheduled Jan. 28-29, the weekend prior to next year’s Senior Bowl week of activities.
The event will be patterned after the NFL Combine and will provide comprehensive medical information, interviews and on-field evaluations of the attendees’ football skills and knowledge.
Last year’s event was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.
“The Reese’s Senior Bowl is honored to be collaborating with the National Football League to host the inaugural HBCU Combine in Mobile, Alabama,” said Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy. “Over the years, the Senior Bowl has served as a showcase for some of the top Black college football players in America, including seven of our game’s 56 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and this event will help many more HBCU players secure further attention and exposure from all 32 teams.”
An HBCU Scouting Committee, comprised of current and former league executives, will evaluate and select this year’s participants. The Senior Bowl will provide medical and football personnel to capture important pre-draft information.
“Throughout NFL history, HBCU athletes have exemplified a standard of excellence both on and off the field,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations. “The HBCU Combine is part of honoring that legacy and making every effort to accelerate exposure of HBCU draft prospects to all NFL clubs. The game is better when all have the opportunity to compete.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “We are incredibly excited the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL have chosen Mobile to host a combine specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Our region has a rich history of HBCU institutions and the Reese’s Senior Bowl is the perfect partner to showcase the skills of HBCU student-athletes. Our relationship with the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL as well as the state-of-the-art facilities at the University of South Alabama have solidified what we already know — the draft starts in Mobile.”
With representatives from all 32 NFL clubs traveling for Senior Bowl week in the past, hosting the event in Mobile should ensure maximum visibility for HBCU players, which is one of the event’s key objectives.
The 73rd annual Reese’s Senior Bowl will kick off on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. CT at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
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