NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Super Bowl legacy will once again be in the spotlight when its Pro Football Hall of Famers are recognized at Super Bowl LI.
The National Football League will host Hall of Famers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities “to highlight their achievements and as part of the NFL’s growing relationship with HBCUs,” Troy Vincent, Sr., executive director, Football Operations, said in a letter to TSU President Glenda Glover.
“Tennessee State University has had a number of former players who have been in past Super Bowls dating back to the first one. It’s an extreme honor,” Glover said. “It also speaks to our proud tradition as a University and as an HBCU.”
TSU’s Hall of Famers are Richard Dent, a 2011 inductee and MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; and Claude Humphrey, a 2014 inductee who played in Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vincent said the HBCU Hall of Famers will be recognized in several ways, including an on-field ceremony prior to kickoff on Feb. 5 in Houston.
“Very few football players make it to the NFL,” Vincent said. “Fewer still reach the pinnacle of our sport: The Pro Football Hall of Fame. Student-athletes at HBCUs represent only a small portion of the college football population, but an amazing 10 percent of all players in the Hall of Fame attend HBCUs.”
TSU’s football legacy dates back to the first Super Bowl in 1967. Then, former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith appeared as teammates for the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 others have followed them over the years. The most recent Super Bowl participants are Lamar Divens (2010); Anthony Levine (2011); and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2014). Former TSU offensive guard Robert Myers was on the Denver Broncos squad that won Super Bowl 50.
Last year, Tennessee State was recognized at the 7th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco for the number of TSU football players who have gone on to play in Super Bowls.
Altogether, TSU has had 31 Super Bowl appearances. Of the 393 schools with alums in the first 50 Super Bowls, only 55 have more than Tennessee State’s 21.
To see a list of TSU Super Bowl participants, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/pr/news5/superbowl.aspx.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
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, 25 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.