Today, Alabama A&M University football coaches accepted the commitments of Grayson High School football players Kenny Edwards (Safety), Hayden Gilford (Linebacker); and Ole Miss transfer, AJ Harris.
Edwards and Guilford both had offers from FBS schools like Baylor, Syracuse, Iowa State, Colorado State, Eastern Kentucky, and UT-Chattanooga. They chose Alabama A&M, an FCS school.
Some experts and fans devalue the idea of a promising student athlete committing to a historically black college and university because of fear; fear that talent will go wasted, uncoached or unexposed to a promising future in the professional ranks. Some elements of HBCU sports culture help to make the point for them, with lopsided losses and embarrassing statistics on pro draft picks and players who make pro rosters in the nation’s three major American sports, football, baseball and basketball.
But AAMU Head Coach Connell Maynor and his staff recruit with the specific intention of securing promising student athletes who want a holistic experience that acknowledges their athletic ability and career goals of the student.
“So many people believe that the greatest exposure can only come from the PWIs and not HBCUs,” says Bulldogs Recruitment Coordinator William Carr. “But in reality, if a student has talent, they’ll be found wherever. We don’t need to play before 448,000 people, we need to be seen and chosen by one of 32.”