The only HBCU participants in NFL’s combine are seeking ways to increase numbers at the annual scouting event.
After nearly three years since the NFL announced its support for enhanced diversity policies, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive lineman Mark Evans II and Florida A&M’s linebacker Isaiah Land were the only players from HBCUs at this week’s NFL’s annual scouting combine. That’s half of last year’s total of four, which was the most in a single draft since 2019.
According to The Associated Press, the players believe there should be more HBCU representation at the combine and are striving to set an example for other players.
“I feel like they’re making progress, but I feel like it most definitely should be more than two,” Evans said. “I feel like there are a lot of good players out there and I feel like we should be represented more.”
The UAPB offensive lineman even offered suggestions on players from HBCUs that he feels deserve the opportunity to be an NFL combine participant. He recommends linebacker Jordan Lewis of Southern University, Lewis’ college teammate and 2023 Legacy Bowl defensive MVP Jason Dumas, and North Carolina Central offensive lineman Robert Mitchell.
Land aims to give inspiration to other HBCU football players. “I try to put my best foot forward every time because I just want to give hope to those guys at the HBCU level, like you know you could make it to this point,” he said. “You’ve just got to stay consistent, and you’ve got to have that underdog mentality.”
Evans shared the linebacker’s sentiments and promised to help provide more exposure to HBCUs if makes an NFL roster.