While former HBCU players like Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State University), Chad “OchoCinco” Johnson (Florida A&M University), and Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State University) have dominated the NFL, there isn’t really a comprehensive history on the history of their place in the industry. To solve this, Alois Ricky Clemons, an author with multiple HBCU ties, recently just came out with a book that will open up the world of black professional football. Learn more about “Inbounds: The Evolution of Historical Black College Players in Professional Football” by Donald Hunt at The Philadelphia Tribune in the article below.

Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals reaches for a pass during the Bengals 23-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

If you are a big fan of Black college football, there is a book that profiles and chronicles the careers of the great players from the nation’s Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The book is titled “Inbounds – The Evolution of Historical Black College Players in Professional Football by Alois Ricky Clemons. 

The book recognizes the trailblazers who played at many the HBCUs prior to playing in the National Football League. Clemons’ research takes you back to the early 1900s, which was long before the modern NFL. 

He has a list of all the HBCU players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The list includes names such as Jerry Rice, Michael Strahan, Walter Payton, Shannon Sharpe and others. It’s a really impressive list of Hall of Famers, which clearly illustrates the number of outstanding players who have come through the HBCU ranks over the years. 

The book has some great artwork on display. John Dupree, a freelance artist from Greenville, N.C., has illustrations of several HBCU football legends. Instead of using regular photos, the artwork adds a nice touch to the book.

The most impressive part of the book is the breakdown of HBCU players in the NFL by school. Clemons has a list of players from Black colleges who made it to the NFL from each conference. The conferences include: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). 

For example, Philadelphia Eagles fans can look up defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in this book. Hargrave played his college football at South Carolina State. 

Former Hall of Fame Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael played for Southern University. He will be enshrined on Aug. 7.

Clemons is a lecturer in Health, Human Performance and Leisure Studies department at Howard University. In addition, he served as a assistant professor of Public Relations and Journalism and Mass Communications department at North Carolina A&T. 

He is the president of ARC Connections, Inc., a marketing communications agency and former host of “The Sports Insider Show” on Sirius XM Channel 141 hurvoices.com.

He started his career at Howard University as the assistant sports information director prior to being named director and later associate athletic director for marketing and promotions. 

He has a vast knowledge of HBCU sports and football in particular. This is a book that every writer, broadcaster or college football fan should have in their library. You can always use it for whatever work you’re doing with HBCU football.