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Stan Becton | | February 23, 2023

Breaking down the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters, how to watch and more

NC Central's Davius Richard and Khalil Baker break down winning school's first Celebration Bowl

The 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl is here, and there are 97 players on rosters for the HBCU football all-star game. With talent coming from HBCUs across the country and divisions, here's a look at where the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl selections played, how to watch the game and more.

What is the HBCU Legacy Bowl?

The HBCU Legacy Bowl is a postseason HBCU football all-star game, highlighting the top draft-eligible prospects from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The HBCU Legacy Bowl began in 2022 and is presented yearly by the Black College Football Hall of Fame. In 2023, the HBCU Legacy Bowl partnered with the NFL to host the HBCU Combine ahead of the game.

How to watch the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl

Here's how you can watch the second-annual HBCU Legacy Bowl in 2023.

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 25
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: NFL Network
  • Location: Yulman Stadium (on the campus of Tulane) in New Orleans, Louisiana

MORE: What happened in the 2022 HBCU football season | 2022 Celebration Bowl | Final 2022 Rankings

2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl coaches

The two HBCU Legacy Bowl teams are Team Gaither and Team Robinson, named after legendary HBCU head coaches Jake Gaither (Florida A&M) and Eddie Robinson (Grambling St.).  Team Gaither will be led by co-head coaches Richard Hayes Jr. (Fayetteville St.) and Trei Oliver (North Carolina Central). Team Robinson will be led by co-head coaches Chennis Berry (Benedict College) and Eric Dooley (Southern University).

2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl roster breakdown

HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters by school

Southern leads all HBCUs with seven players on 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters. Bowie State leads all Division II HBCUs with six players on rosters, while Langston University is the only non-NCAA HBCU with players in the bowl game with five players.

Every FCS HBCU is represented on rosters. Nine Division II HBCUs do not have a player on 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters: Winston-Salem State, Johnson C. Smith, Livingstone State, Augustine's, Savannah State, Morehouse, Allen, Miles and West Virginia State.

2022 GAMES: 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge | Orange Blossom Classic

No. of Players on Roster School
7 Southern
6 Bowie State 
5 North Carolina A&T, Virginia Union 
4 Benedict, Florida A&M, Jackson State,
Langston, Tennessee State
3 Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Delaware State,
Fayetteville State, Fort Valley State, Morgan State,
North Carolina Central, Texas Southern
2 Albany State, Hampton, Mississippi Valley State,
Prairie View A&M, Shaw, Tuskegee, Virginia State
1 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Bethune-Cookman, Central State,
Clark Atlanta, Elizabeth City State, Edward Waters,
Grambling State, Howard, Kentucky State, Lane, Lincoln (PA),
Norfolk State, South Carolina State

HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters by conference

From a conference perspective, the SWAC leads the way with 34 players in the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl. Two DII conferences, the CIAA and SIAC, follow with 20 and 16 players, respectively. However, the FCS's MEAC has a higher percentage of players per team than either of the DII conferences.

No. of Players on Roster conference Players per Conf. team
34 SWAC 2.8
20 CIAA 1.6
16 SIAC 1.2
12 MEAC 2.0
5 Big South -
2 CAA -

HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters by division

As expected, there are more FCS players in the HBCU Legacy Bowl than DII players. See the full breakdown below.

No. of Players on Roster Division
57 FCS
36 DII

HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters by position

There are 52 offensive players in the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl. Bowie State's Dion Golatt Jr. leads the six-man quarterback group and Morgan State's Alfonzo Graham will look to show off his versatility among the running backs. Florida A&M's Xavier Smith is the star among the wide receivers, especially after his reported 4.3-second 40-yard dash at the HBCU combine.

When it comes to the offensive line, I noticed after watching a practice in-person that many of the offensive linemen are positionless. The positionless-ness is reflected on the HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters, led by MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year Robert Mitchell (NCCU).

BEST IN CLASS: The top HBCU football players, by position, from the 2022 season

Offensive position breakdown
No. of Players on Roster Position No. on Team Gaither No. on Team Robinson
20 Offensive line 10 10
10 Wide Receiver 6 4
8 Running back 4 4
6 Quarterback 3 3
3 Tight end 2 1

There are 45 defensive players in the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl. The defensive line features a number of tantalizing prospects, with DII standouts Joshua Pryor (Bowie State) and Andrew Farmer II (Lane) being ones to watch. Spring 2021's Buck Buchanan Award winner, Jordan Lewis (Southern), is in the versatile linebacker group. Expect Lewis to show off his coverage abilities in addition to his menacing pass rush.

At cornerback, Jackson State's De'Jahn "Nugget" Warren flashes elite athleticism while Brandon Barnes-Brown hopes to follow in his Fayetteville State teammate Joshua Williams' footsteps after Williams was selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Defensive position breakdown
No. of Players on Roster Position No. on Team Gaither No. on Team Robinson
16 Defensive line 8 8
12 Linebacker 6 6
10 Cornerback 5 5
7 Safety 4 3

There is one kicker, punter and long snapper per team in the HBCU Legacy Bowl. Interestingly, Morgan State's Myles Wright is doubling as a tight end and long snapper in the game.

Specialist position breakdown
No. of Players on Roster Position
2 Kicker, Punter, Long snapper

Full 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters

Team Gaither has 50 players in the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl and Team Robinson has 47 players. Here's a complete list of the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl rosters.

Team Gaither

Jersey Athlete Position School
1 Dion "DJ" Gollat Jr. QB Bowie State
2 Alfonzo Graham RB Morgan State
4 Edward Hicks II WR North Carolina Central
5 Jahkari Grant QB Virginia Union
6 Morgan Scroggins WR Bowie State
8 Antoine Murray WR Howard
9 Darius Hagans RB Virginia State
11 Jalen Fowler QB North Carolina A&T
12 Jerrish Halsey WR Delaware State
13 Jeremiah Holloman WR Tennessee State
19 Zach Leslie WR North Carolina A&T
20 Taurean Taylor RB Tuskegee
28 Tyler King RB Edward Waters
40 Elton Andrew Jr. K Fayetteville State
53 Quinton Bobo Jr. OL Bowie State
54 Robert Mitchell OL North Carolina Central
55 Dacquari Wilson Jr. OL North Carolina A&T
58 Tyrese Bobbit OL Shaw
62 Christopher Georgia OL Tennessee State
70 Robert Lacey III OL Tennessee State
72 Christopher Simon OL South Carolina State
74 Colby Byrd OL Norfolk State
75 Christopher Anthony OL Morgan State
76 Darian Bryant OL Virginia Union
81 Tyler Barnes TE North Carolina Central
86 Myles Wright TE/LS Morgan State
90 Jacob Young P Fayetteville State
0 Joshua Pryor DL Bowie State
3 Malik Johnson CB Central State
4 Derrick Tucker S Texas Southern
5 Kai Gray S Lincoln (PA)
6 Jermaine McDaniel DL North Carolina A&T
7 Demetrius Mann S Virginia Union
8 Isaiah Williams DL Delaware State
9 Jaleel Scroggins CB Shaw
10 Brandon Barnes-Brown CB Fayetteville State
11 Jahsun Bryant LB Tennessee State
15 Keshaun Moore DL Hampton
16 Damontay Rhem LB Virginia Union
17 Julius Ali Shocklay CB Hampton
18 Brandon Gaddy DL Alabama State
21 Raymond Boone S Bowie State
27 Jai Nunn-Liddell CB Kentucky State
33 Woodly Appolon LB Tuskegee
42 Zion Johnson LB Virginia State
48 Brooks Parker III LB Delaware State
50 Devin Harrell DL North Carolina A&T
54 Juanya' Majette LB Elizabeth City State
98 Ronald Johnson Jr. DL Virginia Union
99 Ellison Jordan DL Bowie State

Team Robinson

Jersey No. Athlete Position School
0 Emanuel Wilson RB Fort Valley State
1 Larry Harrington QB Langston
3 Jacory Rankin WR Mississippi Valley State
5 Que'shaun Byrd RB Bethune-Cookman
6 Isiah Cox WR Alabama A&M
11 Skyler Perry QB Arkansas-Pine Bluff
12 Glendon McDaniel QB Southern
13 Cornelius "CJ" Bolar WR Alcorn State
17 DeVon McCoy TE Clark Atlanta
19 Xavier Smith WR Florida A&M
21 Anthony "AJ" Davis RB Florida A&M
23 Markel Scott RB Langston
42 Jose Romo-Martinez K Florida A&M
43 Christopher Faddoul P Florida A&M
44 Aarion Hartman LS Jackson State
54 Drake Centers OL Texas Southern
55 Henry Mitchell OL Benedict
57 Tyler Pritchett OL Benedict
63 Brian Williams OL Southern
70 Cortez Herrin OL Alabama A&M
71 Emanuel Boone OL Fort Valley State
72 Jeremiah Stafford OL Southern
74 Tony Gray OL Jackson State
77 Maurice Campbell OL Benedict
78 Jordan Johnson OL Prairie View A&M
1 Jason Dumas DL Southern
3 Corione Harris S Southern
4 De'Jahn "Nugget" Warren CB Jackson State
5 Keyron Kinsler Jr. S Alcorn State
6 Reyondous Estes CB Grambling State
9 Nelson Jordan II DL Alabama State
10 Keenan Issac CB Alabama State
12 Jamal Dorsey DL Langston
20 Olajuwone Smith S Benedict
21 Claudin Cherelus LB Alcorn State
22 James Hawkins CB Albany State
26 Devin Dourisseau LB Langston
30 Stephen Pierre LB Albany State
32 Jordan Lewis LB Southern
33 Tyler Moore CB Fort Valley State
35 Dre'Shuwn Terry LB Alabama A&M
44 Andrew Farmer II DL Lane
50 Ronnie Thomas DL Mississippi Valley State
51 Tarik Cooper LB Texas Southern
92 Justin Ragin DL Jackson State
94 Cameron Peterson DL Southern
99 Kevin Victorian DL Prairie View A&M

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