Following invitations to the Hula Bowl and the Tropical Bowl, former Savannah State offensive lineman Michael Johnson accepted an invitation to the inaugural HBCU Combine, set for April 9-10.
Johnson will join two other Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) players at the combine on the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Johnson is the first Savannah State football player to be invited to both the Hula and Tropical bowls.
The 6-7, 310lbs. lineman played both guard and tackle for the Tigers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, graduating Cum Laude, and then earned a Masters of Business Administration during his time as a starting offensive lineman.
Johnson volunteered over 300 hours at GRRR (Georgia Rescue Rehabilitation & Relocation) in Savannah, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats. With his team, he also helped serve meals to the homeless and conducted litter cleanups during several of their community service activities.
In February of last year, according to a press release, the NFL announced they would host a scouting combine exclusively for HBCU players, who often get overlooked during the scouting process. Due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled.
Players who have been invited to the HBUC Combine were identified by NFL teams and scouting services, but did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine. The roster consists of 26 players from HBCU’s around the nation. Each player will participate in physical and mental assessments and have their talents evaluated by professional footballs scouts from the NFL, CFL and XFL. Every drill will be administered and performed to the NFL Regional Combine specifications.
The HBCU Combine Recognition Dinner will be held on April 9. The featured speaker will be Darryl Orlando Ledbetter, an award-winning Atlanta Falcons beat writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and an HBCU graduate.
Stephen A. Smith, ESPN commentator and HBCU Graduate will also participate in the Recognition Dinner. Smith is providing a travel assistance grant to each participating player to help with costs.