Black College Football Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2022

At the time of his retirement, Donald Driver was the Packers' all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. Image: Tom Lynn /Getty Images

The Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 has been announced, NFL.com reports.

This year’s class features an iconic head coach, a legendary HBCU player, an acclaimed journalist, and four former NFL players.

The class of 2022 are Ben Coates (TE, Livingstone College), Donald Driver (WR, Alcorn State University), John Moody (RB, Morris Brown College), Roscoe Nance (Contributor, Tuskegee University), Nate Newton (OL, Florida A&M University), William “Billy” Nicks (Coach, Morris Brown College and Prairie View A&M University) and Sammy White (WR, Grambling State University).

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, congratulations to the Class of 2022,” BCFHOF co-founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams said. “These men should feel proud of this honor. They have been voted some of the best to ever play, coach, or contribute to football at a Historically Black College & University.”

For 10 seasons, Coates was a standout tight end most notably with the New England Patriots who drafted him in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft. A five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, he won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens in the final season of a 10-year career. He currently is the head coach of the Livingstone Blue Bears.

Driver was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft and played 14 seasons with Green Bay, winning Super Bowl XLV. At the time of his retirement, he was the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. 

Newton was drafted by the now-defunct USFL but went on to an accomplished 14-year career in the NFL as one of the greatest offensive linemen of his era. He won three Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) with the Dallas Cowboys, was named to six Pro Bowls, and two All-Pro teams.

Selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 1976 NFL Draft, White went on to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year that season. He played in Super Bowl XI that same season and spent 10 years in the league, all with the Vikings.  

John “Big Six” Moody was an All-American at Morris Brown College but never had the opportunity to play in the NFL because of the league’s ban on Black players from 1930 to 1946.  Moody played one year with the Los Angeles Mustangs of the PCFL in 1943 and played with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 1946, the first year for the franchise. He passed away in 1995. 

Roscoe Nance was an acclaimed sportswriter who made history as the first African American journalist at a mainstream newspaper in Mississippi, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. After that, he spent 20 years at USA Today covering the NBA, soccer, and much more before passing away in January of 2020.

In his coaching career, William “Billy” Nicks compiled a coaching record of 192–60–21. He was named the NAIA Football Coach of the Year in 1963 and six times his teams were declared the Black college football national champions. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999. He passed away in September of the same year.

The BCFHOF Class of 2022 will make its first public appearance at the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl on Feb. 19, 2022, in New Orleans.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for June 18, 2022, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The illustrious event will coincide with Juneteenth.

The distinguished honorees of BCFHOF Class of 2022 will appear at the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl on Feb. 19, 2022, in New Orleans.

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