Players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have made an undeniable mark on the NFL’s grandest stage. Several HBCU alums have earned the right to be called Super Bowl champion—including some of the game’s greatest players of all times. Here are five best to ever hoist the Lombardy Trophy.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Strahan (Texas Southern), Richard Dent (Tennessee State), Doug Williams (Grambling State), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M), Nate Newton (Florida A&M), Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State), Willie Brown (Grambling State), Harry Carson (South Carolina State), Willie Davis (Grambling State), John Stallworth (Alabama A&M), Too Tall Jones (Tennessee State).
College: Grambling State
Teams: Kansas City Chiefs (1963-1975)
Super Bowl Wins: 1970
Accolades: Four-Time First Team All-Pro, Eight-Time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame Inductee (Class of 1990)
Summary: Buchanan was the first player from a historically black university to be selected number one in the AFL draft. The rival league helped push the NFL to give players from black schools an opportunity. Prior to Buchanan’s selection, no HBCU player was selected prior to the fourth round in the NFL draft. Legendary Grambling State Coach Eddie Robinson called Buchanan the “finest lineman” he’d ever seen.
Buchanan would live up to expectations, providing a dominant force on the Chiefs’ defensive line. The 270-pound defensive tackle was an athletic marvel at the position. He was clocked at a blistering 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash while at Grambling State. He used his athleticism to become a ferocious pass rusher and run-stuffing force on the inside.
Buchanan also showed remarkable durability during his career. He missed only one game in 13 seasons.