Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
1st Round Draft pick was touched by former HBCU, NFL Gridder
ATLANTA- Even though only two players from historically black colleges were selected in the 2014 NFL draft, at least one first round pick from Florida State was touched by the hand of HBCU graduate and former NFL player from Morris Brown College.
Roosevelt Blackmon, playfully called “Tadpole” by alumni, fellow classmates and players, was a 4th round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers during the 1998 draft. He played for the Packers and eventually the Cincinnati Bengals before stepping away from the league and returning to his hometown of Belle Glade Florida. In 2005, he joined the coaching staff of the city’s Glade Central High School at or around the same time wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had arrived as a freshman and ultimately became one of the school’s best wide receivers. Blackmon worked as an assistant coach and athletic director at Glades Central until named head coach in 2010, which should have been during Benjamin’s senior year. I have to think “Tadpole” probably had some direct or indirect influence on that youngster’s playing ability. The point? No matter how others count us (HBCUs) out, we are In there pitching somehow!!
It might interest you to know that among those on the short list of candidates for the former head coaching vacancy at Mississippi Valley State was current Morehouse head grid coach Richard Freeman. I’d like to think that Freeman’s name was likely advanced by the school’s new president Dr. William Bynum, who served as a vice president at Morehouse College from 2009-2013 and was mentored by the college’s former president Robert Franklin. The job was instead handed to former Jackson state head coach Rick Comegy (Comegy also coached in the SIAC at Tuskegee).
Clark-AU’s second year head football coach Kevin Weston is pleased as punch that six of his 10 games this coming grid season will be at home. Most of his 2013 team which was predominately freshman is returning with a sprinkle of juniors and seniors. Returnees to watch for include quarterback Trenton Earl, second team all conference running back Montavious Taylor and first team all conference junior linebacker Bre’nard Williams. The Panther elevens are scheduled to open September 6 on the road against Central State…….CAU no longer needs to continue the search for a head basketball coach. They already have their candidate in interim coach Tony Lamarr. He took a team practically in shambles after the 2012-13 season and led them to a winning 15-12 season which included a 10-7 mark in the SIAC….The school is still in the hunt for an athletic director. Any takers? Contact the school………
Meanwhile, Morehouse head man Richard Freeman says overall he was pleased with the Maroon Tiger spring drills. Though some of his players were sidelined principally because of the school’s strict academic policies, he said it did give him and his staff a chance to see more of those who were allowed on the grid and especially at the skill spots. He is returning three quarterbacks and seems especially impressed with sophomore Montvavious Johnson of Decatur Georgia. Although the school hadn’t planned to play him until this year, injuries to other signal callers forced Freeman to send him in prematurely, a decision he says he doesn’t regret. “He started in the Lane game,” Freeman told INSIDE. And since then, he hasn’t looked back.” He is also happy to get running back Shelton Hamilton back after an injury last year left the Montgomery, Alabama native sidelined for most of 2013. “He’s told me this year he’s 100% and ready to roll,” said Freeman. “The last two losing seasons we’ve had was a wake up call for all of us, coaches, staff and players,“ he added. “We got a bit soft with all those previous winning seasons. We are ready again.” Meanwhile, Freeman has added former Concordia College head coach Shepherd Skanesas the team’s running backs coach…..Morehouse's 2014 schedule will be a challenging one. The Marooners ' first six games will be roaders. In fact, The hometowners won't get a glimpse of the elevens until homecoming October 18 against Albany Statte....
The SIAC will once more rule the roost at the annual grid “do” the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis. The “Breds” of Kentucky State will throw down against the Marauders of Central State, new coach and all, October 4th…………
XTRA POINTS: I understand that former Alabama A&M head coach Anthony Jones is now an assistant at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff……Where is former North Carolina Central head man Henry Frazier?.......Former Lincoln University (Missouri) head coach Jack Bush has rejoined ex- boss Rick Comegy at Mississippi Valley State ……If you come to Atlanta this grid season (or for that matter any time) let me recommend the TGI Friday restaurant in the Camp Creek Marketplace shopping center. The food is great and reasonable, the atmosphere is fantastic and the service is excellent. It is also black owned by the family of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson (Morehouse College)……..
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net