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Opinion: The Six Things That Made Howard’s 2023-24 Football Season Special

Christian White, 22, celebrates after taking the lead in Truth and Service Classic. (Photo by Jacob Hanesworth/The Hilltop)
  1. Back-To-Back MEAC Champions & 2023 Celebration Bowl Appearance: 

Howard Football had a groundbreaking 2023 season, achieving many firsts within the program and raising the standard of excellence the university is known for. The Bison became outright MEAC champions for the first time in decades, appearing in the 2023 Celebration Bowl playing against Florida A&M University. However, the awards and accomplishments don’t stop there for Howard football. 

  1. Head Coach Larry Scott Receives Multiple Accolades & Awards:

Head Coach Larry Scott was recognized as a finalist for a prestigious award, the Eddie Robinson Award, that acknowledges the top coach in Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Football. Scott also earned HBCU Coach of the Year honors from College Football Network and was selected to be the head coach of the 2024 HBCU Legacy Bowl. 

  1. Legacy Bowl Recognition For The Bison: 

Four of our fellow Bison also had the opportunity to compete in this year’s HBCU Legacy Bowl, a postseason all-star game showcasing the best NFL draft-eligible football players from HBCUs. 

These Bison were graduate student defensive lineman Darrian Brokenburr, quarterback Quinton Williams, offensive lineman Anim Dankwah and running back Ian Wheeler. 

  1. The Bison Received Multiple Awards & Honors: 

As the regular season closed, 14 Bison earned All-MEAC recognition, including senior defensive back Kenny Gallop Jr., named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Gallop was also honored throughout the 65th Annual National Football Foundation (NFF) awards dinner in Las Vegas and earned the 2023 Aeneas Williams Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back in HBCU Division I college football. Gallop’s resume doesn’t stop there, as he earned numerous All-American accolades alongside redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Da’Metrius Weatherspoon. 

  1. The Bison Were a Force to be Reckoned With on the Field and in the Classroom: 

Howard Football’s on-field success translated to the classroom as well, as the Bison had a MEAC-leading 42 Bison named to the 2023 MEAC Football All-Academic Team.

  1. Pro Day Success And NFL Signings: 

The Bison held their first pro-day at Howard University in seven years. 11 NFL draft-eligible Bison competed in the pro day, showcasing their talents and skills in front of several pro representatives from the NFL, Canadian Football League and the United Football League. 

The draft-eligible participants included Darrian Brokenburr, Quinton Williams, Jevin Jackson, Antonie Murray, Ian White, Ian Wheeler, Geron Hamilton Jr., Anim Dankwah, Bryce Miller, Brennan Brown and Matthew McDonald. 

The pro day activities included bench press and vertical jumps in the weight room inside Burr Gymnasium along with 40-yard dash runs, short shuttles and 3-cone shuttles at Greene Stadium. Aided by a strong pro day that included a sub-4.4 second forty-yard dash, running back Ian Wheeler was signed as a free agent to the Chicago Bears. 

Additionally, after receiving an invite to the NFL Combine, Howard offensive lineman Anim Dankwah became Howard’s first invitee since 2014, and was signed as a free agent to the Philadelphia Eagles.         

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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