The Indelible Impact of HBCUs on the NFL

HBCU alum have made an indelible mark on the NFL.  Nearly 10 percent of the Hall of Fame played for an HBCU (30 of 318 members).  No honor exemplifies the character and integrity of HBCU students more than the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Named for the famed Jackson State and Chicago Bears running back, the award is given to the player who best represents a commitment to philanthropy and community endeavors.

Harold Carmichael (17) wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, is shown in 1973. Exact date and location are unknown. (AP Photo)

NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2020 includes:

  • Harold Carmichael – Southern University, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys
  • Winston Hill – Texas Southern, New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Colts
  • Donnie Shell – South Carolina State, Pittsburgh Steelers

Check out AURN’s coverage of Howard University homecoming

Former New York Jets offensive lineman Winston Hill is honored at the halftime of an NFL football game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
FILE – This Aug. 6, 2016, file photo shows former Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football player Donnie Shell during ceremonies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Shell was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, announced Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Carmichael, Hill, and Shell join the 30 HBCU alum in the Hall of Fame including:

Deacon Jones – Mississippi Valley State, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins (Class of 1980)

Undated photo Football player David Deacon Jones. (AP Photo)

Art Shell – Maryland State/Maryland Eastern Shore, Oakland Raiders (Class of 1989)

Walter Payton – Jackson State, Chicago Bears (Class of 1993)

This is an October 8, 1984 photo of the Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton in action looking for an opening during a game against the New Orleans Saints. (AP Photo/ Fred Jewell)

Charlie Joiner – Grambling State, Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers (Class of 1996)

Jackie Slater – Jackson State, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (Class of 2001)

Jerry Rice – Mississippi Valley State, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks (Class of 2010)

Shannon Sharpe – Savannah State, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens (Class of 2011)

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Richard Dent – Tennessee State, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles (Class of 2011)

Michael Strahan – Texas Southern, New York Giants (Class of 2014)