Wednesday, October 9, 2013
NFL prospects among HBCU playmakers
By Donald Hunt Special to ESPN.com
NFL scouts have been watching a lot of top Division I-A quarterbacks such as Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Clemson Tajh Boyd. However, there are some pretty good NFL prospects in black college football as well.
The MEAC has a host of quality players capable of playing on Sundays. These players should get invited to the NFL combine as well as to some of the postseason college football all-star games.
The NFL draft is several months away, but these players could be selected based on their play so far. If not, they could find their way onto NFL rosters as undrafted free agents.
Norfolk State RB Rolandan Finch leads the MEAC in rushing.
Rolandan Finch, RB
5-foot-10, 215 pounds Finch has the ability to run between the tackles. He has enough speed to get to the edge. Last week, he had a terrific game against Savannah State. Finch rushed for 134 yards on 23 carries. He currently leads the MEAC is rushing with 403 yards.
Isidore Jackson, RB
5-10, 205 pounds Jackson is one of the most exciting players in the MEAC. He has the speed to turn a 2-yard gain into an 80-yard touchdown run. Jackson was the preseason MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, he can catch the football coming out of the backfield.
Alex Monroe, OT
6-5, 305 pounds Monroe is a good run- and pass-blocker. He has good strength and power. He moves his feet extremely well. He knows how to open those gaping holes to help the Wildcats’ running attack. His pass-blocking skills have Bethune-Cookman’s passing game in high gear. Monroe has the size and experience to play at the next level.
Tyler McDonald, WR
South Carolina State
6-3, 190 pounds McDonald is a big-play wide receiver. He leads the MEAC in receiving yards. McDonald averages 31.5 yards a catch. He has 17 receptions for 536 yards and five touchdowns. He has good size and speed. McDonald can run the deep routes. In a 52-13 loss to Clemson earlier this season, he caught two touchdown passes of 63 and 51 yards.
Tazmon Foster, LB
North Carolina Central
5-10, 215 pounds Foster is always around the football. He plays the run very well. He does a great job of coming up and stopping the sweeps for short gains. He plays with good anticipation. Foster has 30 solo and 58 total tackles.
Joe Thomas, LB
South Carolina State
6-0, 230 pounds Thomas is one of the best all-around defensive players in the MEAC. He knows how to pick his spots in terms of rushing the passer. Thomas has three sacks this season. He’s a real playmaking linebacker. He has 47 solo and 62 total tackles.
Delbert Tyler, LB
5-11, 225 pounds Tyler has been all over the field for Hampton. The Pirates linebacker knows how to close on the football. He’s made a lot of plays with his speed and tackling ability. He has 23 solo and 54 total tackles.
Jarkevis Fields, LB
6-0, 230 pounds Fields has the ability to rush the passer and play the run and the pass. He’s been a big reason why Bethune-Cookman has the league’s best defensive team. Fields has good range and quickness.
• Morgan State quarterback Seth Higgins was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week. Higgins completed 12 of 20 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown as the Bears posted a 34-21 win over Florida A&M. He also rushed for a career-high 102 yards on 17 carries while scoring a touchdown.
• Morgan State linebacker Cody Acker was selected as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week. Acker returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown in Morgan State’s win over Florida A&M.
• Jackson State running back Tommy Gooden was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week. Gooden had a career-high 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns in JSU’s 42-33 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
• Mississippi Valley State defensive back Terrance Hudson was chosen as the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week. Hudson was playing his second game as defensive back after playing wide receiver picked up six tackles (two solo) and two interceptions in MVSU’s 28-9 win over Alabama A&M.
SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll
2. Tennessee State
3. South Carolina State
4. Winston-Salem State
5. North Carolina A&T
6. Prairie View A&M
7. Jackson State
8. Alabama State
10. North Carolina Central