The Pro Football Hall of Famer and current University of Colorado Boulder head coach said that he was “ashamed” of the NFL for only selecting one HBCU player as part of the 2023 draft class, ESPN reports.
The only player drafted from an HBCU was Isaiah Bolden, one of Sanders’ former players during his time as coach of Jackson State. Bolden was chosen as the 245th pick of the New England Patriots in the seventh round on Saturday (April 29). Joining linebacker James Houston who was selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round last year, Bolden is the second player in Sanders’ program to be drafted into the NFL.
Coach Prime took to Twitter to congratulate Bolden and argued that several of his former player at JSU have the potential to play in the NFL.
Coach Willie Simmons of Florida A&M shared similar sentiments as Sanders on Twitter, calling it a “head scratcher.”
During this year’s HBCU combine, all 32 teams were represented including the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Omar Khan who was the lone general manager in attendance, USA Today reported.
In the 2022 Draft, four HBCU players were selected. Joshua Williams, a cornerback from Fayetteville State, was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs; Cobie Durant, a South Carolina State cornerback, was selected by the Los Angeles Rams; James Houston, a linebacker from Jackson State was chosen by the Detroit Lions; and Southern University’s Ja’Tyre Carter, an offensive lineman, was drafted by Chicago Bears.
In December 2022, following three successful seasons at Jackson State where he helped raise the visibility of the school and the HBCU football, Sanders resigned from his position to take over head coach duties at the University Colorado Boulder.