Hall of Fame inducts seven more HBCU football standouts

Photo by JAMES P. HILL
This photo includes Black College Football Hall of Fame from the 2010 induction class through the 2019 class. It as taken on Feb. 16 in Atlanta.


HBCU football legends Doug Williams and James “Shack” Harris co-founded the Black College Football Hall of Fame to honor phenomenal student-athletes.

They were among the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) football stars at the 10th annual Black College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Feb. 16 in Atlanta.

“We see a lot of faces and that’s a good thing,” Williams said. “They keep coming so I think the event must be something that piques their interest and something that’s needed.”

The 2019 Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) induction class includes Emerson Boozer (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Hugh Douglas (Central State University), Rich “Tombstone” Jackson (Southern University), Frank Lewis (Grambling State), Timmy Newsome (Winston-Salem State), John Taylor (Delaware State), and Coach Arnett “Ace” Mumford from Southern University, Texas College, Jarvis Christian College, and Bishop College.

“I don’t really feel like I deserve being here with so many great ball-players that came before me. So many great players in this Hall of Fame and I really appreciate them even considering me,” Jackson related.

Grambling standouts

Williams noted that he’s “glad that we are here for the 10th year and I hope that we can continue doing what we do.’’

The standout player for Coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State became the first African-American quarterback in the National Football League to start and win Super Bowl XXII. The Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos 42-10.

Harris also played quarterback for Grambling State. In 1969, he became the first Black quarterback to start a season in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. In 1974, Harris earned Pro Bowl MVP honors.

Black College Football Hall of Fame inductees feature several Florida football heroes like Bethune-Cookman’s Larry Little, Eatonville’s David “Deacon” Jones of Mississippi Valley State University, Bob “Bullet” Hayes, Alonzo “Jake” Gaither, Willie Galimore, Ken Riley and Coach Billy Joe, all from Florida A&M University.

Salute to Davis

Art Shell made history in 1994 as the second African-American head coach in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders.

“I can’t say enough about Al Davis. He showed the league Blacks can become head coaches so others came along,” Shell said, referring to the former Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders football coach, general manager and owner.

Shell played for Maryland State now known as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Shell was inducted into the 2011 BCFHOF Class.

“I was a freshman when he [Emerson Boozer] was playing his senior year and to see him get in this Hall of Fame is just a great feeling for me,” Shell noted.

“I enjoy coming back every year and I try to tell all of the guys in the Hall of Fame come on back. I think we set a record this year with guys coming back.”

Special event

Terry LeCount grew up in Jacksonville as a star quarterback at Raines High School. He led the Vikings to the Florida Class 4A state championship game in 1973. His family members attended HBCUs in the 1960s and 1970s and he always admired Black college football. He made history in Gainesville.

“I attended the University of Florida when they didn’t have any African Americans as a Black quarterback so I feel pretty special about that,” LeCount said.

He works for the Black College Football Hall of Fame and always looks forward to the induction ceremony.

“I was telling my employees earlier that this is personally the biggest event of all in my eyesight,” LeCount said. “I love when they have it. I hope they never leave.”

Follow James P. Hill on Twitter @JamesHill_News.




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