All-time Black College football team

Editor’s Note: The recent news that the Black College Football Hall of Fame will be established in Atlanta presented an opening to renew a discussion on the All-time Black College football team. You can view the team, created by Donald Hunt of the Philadelphia Tribune for ESPN, by clicking here and then return to the discussion on my most recent blog.

A few months ago, I created a blog opening the discussion on the All-time Black College football team.

You can check out the team by clicking here. The team had some of the greatest names in HBCU history – Grambling coach Eddie Robinson, QB Doug Williams of Grambling and Jackson State RB Walter Payton just to name a few.

There were some notable omissions from the list, household names from their Black College football and/or NFL days. Shannon Sharpe, who’s likely heading into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the future, was a dominant player at Savannah State and Richard Dent was a beast at Tennessee State and later with the Chicago Bears.

One commenter said the QB position should’ve gone to Eldridge Dickey of Tennessee State, who played for Big John Merritt in Nashville – a coach who should’ve been on the team. FAMU fans believe Jake Gaither, who led the Rattlers to six Black College championships, should have been on the list.

Needless to say, it’s hard to create an all-time Black College team without leaving some deserving players off the list. There have just been so many great players from HBCUs over the years – and more that will probably create a legacy of their own in the future.

So, take a look at the list again by clicking here (which takes you back to the previous blog and you can access the list from there). Once you see the list, let me know what you think of it and who would you include (or exclude).

Also, for the latest in HBCU news and notes, click on the AJC’s HBCU football page by clicking here.

11 comments Add your comment


March 16th, 2009
3:35 pm


March 17th, 2009
4:37 pm

Claude Humphrey could have made that list but I see why he didn’t over Deacon Jones. Eldridge Dickey is a great selection and Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam could have been honorable mention. Guess you can say I’m a little biased…..

Johnno Johnson

March 23rd, 2009
6:02 pm

Check into the great players from Morris Brown College who had outstanding careers … can’t recollect their names, one was an outstanding defensive end for the 49′ers and the otehr and outstanding defensive back.

harold dean trulear

August 6th, 2009
8:03 pm

That would be Tommy Hart for the 49ers and George Atkinson for the Raiders. I’m old school so I have to cast a vote for Tank Younger.


August 9th, 2009
4:17 am

Shannon Sharpe at Tight End, from Savannah State…next year at this time he will be an NFL Hall of Famer!!! One of the best to play that position!

DeLano M

August 27th, 2009
11:00 am

Lem Barney attended Jackson State University where he was a three-time All-Southwestern Conference star with 26 career interceptions.

[...] can check out the previous blog, and the team, by clicking here. View the previous discussion, weigh in with your thoughts on the team and any thoughts you might [...]

Add Seymour

October 6th, 2009
11:12 am

A whole bunch of folks….but a good start would be:
From TSU, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam and Eldridge Dickey; from Grambling James Harris; from Jackson State Walter Payton; Alcorn State Steve “Air” McNair; Mississippi Valley State, Jerry Rice


October 6th, 2009
11:58 am


Lybron Gideon

October 6th, 2009
10:01 pm

John Stallworth played at Alabama A&M from 1971-1974 and went on to win 4 superbowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Add your comment