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John Marshall Player offered scholarship after HBCU Football Combine (Video, Photo Gallery)



“We are going to make an official offer for you to play at our school.

Those are words many high school athletes work their entire career to hear.  Earlier this month, Desmond, a John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership senior, heard that exact sentence from Kienus Boulware, a defensive coordinator and recruiter for Alabama A&M University.    

Boulware visited Desmond’s home two days after he participated in the second annual HBCU Football Combine hosted by the Senate Athletic League at The Word Church Sports Complex.    

“This is my first actual offer,” said Desmond, who was  overwhelmed with emotions at Boulware’s offer.    

Desmond, a senior at John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership,  and approximately 100 student athletes from CMSD and surrounding school districts performed a series of drills for recruiters on December 10th.   
The two-day session was the second HBCU combine hosted by the district this calendar year, with the first being held in April. The hope is to build increased familiarity between CMSD football programs and those programs affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

Desiree Powell Executive Director of Athletics, Student Activities, Health, Wellness & Physical Education, says she wants CMSD players to have the same opportunities as their suburban counterparts.    

“I want a talented player who may have been on a team with a record of 1 and 9 to know they have a chance to be seen and have the chance to receive a college scholarship to play ball,” said Powell.   

The night before the combine, a panel discussion was held for families to learn more about the recruiting process.  A featured speaker was Cardale Jones, a former NFL quarterback who played at The Ohio State University and Glenville High School. He said student athletes need to protect their image.    

“I tell them all the time to be very cautious about what you post on social media because you can’t delete it,” said Jones.    

As for Desmond, he is grateful for the opportunities that are coming his way. He plans to visit several other colleges before deciding whether he will attend Alabama A&M or some other  college in the fall.    

Combines for basketball, track and field, baseball and softball are scheduled to take place in 2023.