Jackson State was the only HBCU that had a player selected in the 2023 NFL Draft over the last three days and the Tigers’ former coach admitted he was “ashamed” of the 31 teams who passed on his former players.
New England Patriots selected cornerback and returner Isaiah Bolden in the seventh round of the draft on Saturday evening. Bolden was the lone player from an HBCU to be selected.
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Deion Sanders, who left Jackson State for Colorado in December, reacted to the draft selections on Saturday night.
“So proud is you @isaiahbolden23 You deserved to be drafted much higher but I’m truly proud of u. I know how much u want this. I’m ashamed of the 31 other @nfl teams that couldn’t find draft value in ALL of the talented HBCU players & we had 3 more draft worthy players at JSU,” Sanders added.
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Bolden was the second player who played for Sanders to be selected in the draft. James Houston was chosen in the sixth round last year by the Detroit Lions and emerged as a top linebacker on the team.
Nearly 50 players participated in the combine primarily for HBCU players, according to ESPN.
Bolden transferred from Florida State to Jackson State after the 2019 season. He starred on special teams in 2021 when he led the nation in kickoff return average with 36.9 yards per attempt. In 2022, he had 260 total yards but didn’t return any kicks after Oct. 15.
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On defense in 2022, he had 44 total tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.