The Reese’s Senior Bowl on Wednesday announced that, in collaboration with the National Football League, it will hold the HBCU (Historically Black College & University) Combine in Mobile, Alabama.
The 73rd annual Reese’s Senior Bowl will kick off on February 5, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. CT at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
With representatives from all 32 NFL clubs traveling for Senior Bowl week in the past, hosting this event in Mobile ensures maximum visibility for HBCU players – one of the event’s key objectives.
Select players from four HBCU conferences – CIAA, MEAC, SIAC and SWAC – and other HBCU institutions will be invited to participate in the event. Alabama is home to more HBCUs than any other state in the nation.
“We are incredibly excited the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL have chosen Mobile to host a combine specifically for Historically Black Colleges & Universities,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson in a statement. “Our region has a rich history of HBCU institutions, and the Reese’s Senior Bowl is the perfect partner to showcase the skills of HBCU student athletes. Our relationship with the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL as well as the state-of-the-art athletics facilities at the University of South Alabama have solidified what we already know: The draft starts in Mobile.”
Held at the University of South Alabama and patterned after the NFL Combine, the HBCU Combine will include the gathering of comprehensive medical information, interviews and on-field evaluations of football skills and acumen. This year’s event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Reese’s Senior Bowl is honored to be collaborating with the National Football League to host the inaugural HBCU Combine in Mobile, Alabama,” stated Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy. “Over the years, the Senior Bowl has served as a showcase for some of the top Black college football players in America, including seven of our game’s 56 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and this event will help many more HBCU players secure further attention and exposure from all 32 teams.”
An HBCU Scouting Committee, comprised of current and former league executives, will reportedly evaluate and select the participants. The Senior Bowl will provide medical and football personnel to capture important pre-Draft information and deliver a world-class experience for HBCU prospects.
“Throughout NFL history, HBCU athletes have exemplified a standard of excellence both on and off the field,” concluded Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of Football Operations. “The HBCU Combine is part of honoring that legacy and making every effort to accelerate exposure of HBCU draft prospects to all NFL clubs. The game is better when all have the opportunity to compete.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn