NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University received a prestigious award for the number of TSU football players who have gone on to play in Super Bowls.
TSU President Glenda Glover accepted the award on Feb. 4 at the 7th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco.
TSU’s football legacy dates back to the first Super Bowl and continued on Feb. 7 when the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.
Former TSU offensive guard Robert Myers was on the Denver squad. The 6-foot-5, 326-pound rookie joined the Broncos’ active roster Dec. 30 and played in the AFC champions’ final regular-season game and each of their playoff wins.
“Tennessee State University has had a number of former players who have been in past Super Bowls dating back to the first one, and Myers’ continues this rich tradition,” Glover said. “Considering this is the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, it’s an extreme honor to have a former TSU athlete participating. It also speaks to our proud tradition as a University and as an HBCU.”
TSU players who have gone on to play in Super Bowls over the years include Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
“This is the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, the golden anniversary,” said Everett Glenn, organizer of the Wooten Awards and a sport attorney who once represented Dent. “And on the golden anniversary, we thought it would make sense to recognize guys from black colleges who have contributed to Super Bowl history.”
In 1967, former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith appeared as teammates in Super Bowl I for the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 others have followed them over the years, including Claude Humphrey, a 2014 Hall of Fame inductee who played in Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles. More recent Super Bowl participants are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2014); Anthony Levine (2011); and Lamar Divens (2010).
Myers’ name was added to the list.
“Playing in the Super Bowl is one of the highest achievements an NFL player can reach,” said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “So to have so many former TSU Tigers that have been able to participate in this great game is a phenomenal accomplishment. Tennessee State has the most Super Bowl appearances among HBCUs. That says a lot about our program through the years and the type of players that we produce.”
TSU head football coach Roderick Reed said the school is fortunate to have such a rich tradition of football.
“It’s something that has been happening for a while, and we’re really excited to have TSU’s name associated with the Super Bowl,” he said.
Myers, who started in 35 games at TSU from 2010-2014, was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft by the Ravens. After suffering a concussion in preseason camp, he was cut. The Colts added Myers to their 53-man roster in September and then waived him a few days later. He returned to Baltimore’s practice squad, where he remained until the Broncos signed him.
“Once I got out to Denver and walked into the building and saw how they (the Broncos) worked and the mentality, I realized this was a team that could make it to the Super Bowl,” Myers told The Tennessean.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.