February 3: Celebrating the Rams’ KhaDarel Hodge and other HBCU alumni who have made it to football’s biggest game

When the Los Angeles Rams take the field against the New England Patriots in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium tonight for Super Bowl LIII, HBCU alumni who don’t root for either team can root for Rams Rookie Wide Receiver KhaDarel Hodge.

Hodge played in 11 games for the Rams this year, but before signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in August, he was wooing SWAC audiences with memorable performances as a member of the Prairie View A&M Panthers squad. Hodge, who was named HBCU Gameday’s SWAC All-Conference Offensive Team in 2017, also played for two other HBCU teams: the Alcorn State University Braves and the Hinds Community College Eagles.

The Rams are the underdogs in tonight’s game, but that’s nothing new for the D’Lo, Mississippi native.

“I’ve been in these situations before where I’ve had to come from the bottom and stuff,” he said back in August when he was fighting to earn a spot on the roster. “So, this is nothing new to me.”

Here are some memorable Super Bowl Performances from other notable HBCU alumni who have won the big game.

Mississippi Valley State University’s Jerry Rice is arguable one of the best receivers of all time, and his performance with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII is considered one of the greatest the league has ever seen.

And let’s not forget Grambling State University’s Doug Williams, who became the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl the previous year with the Washington Redskins.

Autumn A. Arnett is an education reporter and editor and an avid sports fan based in Austin, Texas. www.a2arnett.com

Autumn A. Arnett is an education reporter and editor and an avid sports fan based in Austin, Texas. www.a2arnett.com