It’s officially football season and the NFL isn’t the only league that many of us are excited to see kick off. College football is on the horizon in the coming weeks as well. And with that comes homecoming. When that time of year comes to mind, many think of tailgates, step shows and the chance to catch up with old classmates. Not that the actual game isn’t as important, we’re also here for the band.

We should also take notice of our HBCU football players since we have dozens playing in the NFL. Despite the myth that if you play at an HBCU, you will never play in the NFL, these players are not asking for permission to thrive in the league. They prove that it is possible.

In this week’s #stopaskingpermission, we provide you with the players who are knocking down barriers and excelling in the NFL.

North Carolina Central University

1. Ryan Smith #29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

South Carolina State University

2. Javon Hargrave #79 Pittsburgh Steelers

3. Temarrick Hemingway #84 Los Angeles Rams

4. Rafael Bush #31 Detroit Lions

5. Jalen Simmons #38 Carolina Panthers

6. Kimario McFadden #33 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Antonio Hamilton #32 Oakland Raiders

Tennessee State University

8. Anthony Levine Sr. #41 Baltimore Ravens (2x Super Bowl Champion)

9. Kadeem Edwards #73 Jacksonville Jaguars

10. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #41 New York Giants

11. Robert Myers #70 Denver Broncos

12. Demetrius Rhaney #65 Los Angeles Rams

Alabama State University

13. Isaiah Crowell #34 Cleveland Browns

14. Jamel Johnson #10 Green Bay Packers

Grambling State University 

15. Chester Rogers #3 Indianapolis Colts

16. Larry Donnell #84 New York Giants

Hampton University

17. Kendall Langford #90 Indianapolis Colts

18. Justin Durant #56 Dallas Cowboys

19. David Watford #9 Philadelphia Eagles

20. Chris Baker #92 Washington Redskins

21. Torian White #64 Oakland Raiders

Morgan State University

22. Karim Barton #63 Cleveland Browns

Alabama A and M University

23. Robert Mathis #98 Indianapolis Colts

24. Frank Kearse #72 New England Patriots

25. Anthony Lanier #72 Washington Redskins

Bethune-Cookman College

26. Ryan Davis #59 Jacksonville Jaguars

27. Eric Weems #14 Atlanta Falcons

Bowie State University

28. Khari Lee #82 Chicago Bears

29. Douglas McNeil #19 Seattle Seahawks

Norfolk State University

30. Don Carey #26 Detroit Lions

31. Deon King #47 Dallas Cowboys

32. Lynden Trail #48 Washington Redskins

Alcorn State University

33. Warren Gatewood #26 Green Bay Packers

34. Jarvis Turner #15 Washington Redskins

Johnson C. Smith University

35. Avis Capers #16 Carolina Panthers

Southern University

36. Arthur Miley #71 Carolina Panthers

37. Rashaun Allen #88 New Orleans Saints

Elizabeth City State University

38. Montario Hunter #83 Seattle Seahawks

University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

39. Terron Armsted #72 New Orleans Saints

40. Kyle Coleman #49 Seattle Seahawks

Florida A&M University

41. Akil Blount #44 Miami Dolphins

42. Brandon Hepburn #48 Dallas Cowboys

North Carolina A&T University

43. Deji Olatoye #29 Dallas Cowboys

Winston Salem State University 

44. Carlos Fields #59 Washington Redskins

45. William Hayes #95 Los Angeles Rams

Fort Valley State University

46. Marquette King #7 Oakland Raiders

Howard University

47. Antoine Bethea #41 San Francisco 49ers

As you can see from all of these receipts, HBCUs produce NFL players and Super Bowl Champions. We can compete with the best of them and stand out among the greatest. Each of these players took on a dream that many will never be able to fulfill and didn’t ask for permission to make it happen. They prove to every young black boy that anything is possible, especially if you go to an HBCU. Let’s support them this season by cheering them on, buying their jerseys, and backing their community initiatives. To all the incoming freshmen #stopaskingpermission to be great and instead take it on. To all my fellow HBCU alumni we need to #stopaskingpermission to show the world how capable we are at any level.

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