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The NFL recognized Pro Football Hall of Fame players who attended historically black colleges during a pregame ceremony of Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 5.

Among those honored was former Savannah State star Shannon Sharpe.

While playing for the Tigers, Sharpe was a four-year letter winner (1986-89) in football as a flanker. Sharpe led Savannah State to an 8-1 record in 1989. The Glennville, GA native was All-SIAC First Team in 1987, 88 and 89. In 1989, he was Co-SIAC Player of the Year, selected to the Kodak Small College All-America First Team, and named the College Player of the Year in Georgia. He was the first Savannah State player to play in the Blue-Gray Classic (1990) and East-West Shrine Game (1990). Sharpe owns SSU single season receiving records for yardage, touchdowns and yards per catch. His #2 football jersey was officially retired on Shannon Sharpe Day in October 2009 at SSU and he was inducted into the SSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Sharpe played 12 seasons for the Denver Broncos (1990–99, 2002–03) and two years with the Baltimore Ravens (2000–01), winning three Super Bowls and finishing his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060), and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end. Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Twenty-nine of the 303 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame attended HBCUs. The Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) and the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF), recently announced a partnership

that will result in a permanent home for the BCFHOF as part of the new Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village on the Hall’s campus in Canton, Ohio, adding to the history and association of HBCUs and their players’ influence on the game.

Howard Hires New Football Coach

Howard University President, Dr. Wayne Frederick announced Mike London as the new head coach of the Howard University football team on Jan. 8, 2017.

London comes to Howard University after serving as an associate head coach/ defensive line coach for the University of Maryland. Before coaching the Terrapins, he was the head coach at the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond, respectfully for eight seasons. A highly-regarded recruiter, London helped bring in four top-35 classes during his tenure in Charlottesville and brought in two Virginia bred five-star recruits in 2014 (247Sports). London led Virginia to an 8-5 season in 2011 and was named ACC Coach of the Year. As the head coach at Richmond (2008-09), London captured 24 wins and led the Spiders to the FCS Championship in his first season. He helped 28 Spiders achieve all-conference honors in just two seasons. London played defensive back at Richmond (1979-1982) before playing one season for the Dallas Cowboys.

WSSU Honors 1967 Men’s Basketball Team

Fifty years ago, the Winston-Salem State University men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship as the first black college team to win a NCAA national championship. The 1967 team was led by legendary Head Coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines.

Wins ton- Salem State finished the regular season with an impressive 30-1 mark, but ended up third in the CIAA Tournament behind North Carolina A&T and Howard. After being invited to the NCAA Tournament, the team breezed past Baldwin-Wallace (91-76), Long Island (62-54), and Kentucky Wesleyan (85-73) to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship Game where they defeated Southwestern Missouri State, 77- 74. All-CIAA, All-American, and future NBA legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe averaged 41.5 points per game and was named NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

During the course of the weekend (February 3-4), WSSU recognized the achievements of their 1967 National Champion Men’s Basketball Team. Events include an invitation-only reception, a fundraiser, and the basketball game on Feb. 4against Saint Augustine’s University.

WSSU athletics will honored the 1967 team with special throwback jerseys during the men’s game at the Gaines Center. During halftime of the game, the Rams officially retired the jerseys of Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and the late Cleo Hill. The two legends are the leading scorers in Rams’ basketball history

Lee Plays In FCS Bowl

Savannah State linebacker Marcus Lee participated in the FCS Bowl which was played December 4 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Lee, whose National squad lost to the American team 33-16, had four solo tackles in the contest.

During the 2016 season, Lee was fourth in tackles for SSU with 60 tackles. The Atlanta native also had 6.5 tackles for losses, one interception and one fumble recovery.

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