BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is hosting the first HBCU combine this weekend at its Legacy Pavillion facility.
The event, which started Friday and goes through Saturday, will serve 45 players from historically Black schools, most of whom got invited to this year’s NFL combine, which was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.
Kick returner Jimmie Robinson, who graduated from Bethune Cookman last year, says he is grateful for the opportunity.
“I never stopped training”, says Robinson. “It’s a blessing to be able to have this because now we get an equal opportunity as every other school and we’re not overlooked.”
Former Major League Baseball executive Ulice Payne, who helped organize the event, says players will get to show their physical skills and sit for interviews.
“For all of us, we hope that this gives them a real good chance to get a look whether its NFL, CFL, XFL will be in season coming up soon, so we just think if they stayed in shape and they’re meant to make a living at it, this will give them an opportunity to be seen,” said Payne.
Southwestern Athletic Conference players are not available for this combine since they’re currently in season.
Payne also says by allowing the use of UAB facilities, coach Bill Clark “is living what he talks about – leadership.”