We briefly mentioned in yesterday’s Notes that Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes spoke to local high school students in Ford Field’s Hall of Legends about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on Wednesday. ESPN’s Eric Woodyard had the chance to follow up with Holmes after the event in more detail. Spreading awareness of the quality and importance of HBCUs is near and dear to Holmes’ heart, coming from a family of many proud North Carolina A&T graduates.
Holmes met with roughly 50 or so Detroit high school students for a discussion earlier this week to highlight #HBCUs, organized by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit and HBCU For Life. pic.twitter.com/nG9tKZFU2a— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) October 15, 2021
While certainly, Holmes spoke a bit about the wealth of football talent at HBCUs like North Carolina A&T (Tarik Cohen) or South Carolina State (Darius Leonard), it’s the quality of the academics and spirit of community that he believes are underappreciated. It’s really interesting how he is able to frame the importance of schooling even in the context of football.
From Woodyard’s article:
“The world of analytics is big in football right now and [there are] roles of director of analytics so if you’re really skilled in numbers and math and you aspire to go to an HBCU and study that, then you can have a field and a career in that. So, I don’t want us to keep that as the ceiling to just be another Black GM.”
The questions cover a lot of ground, including the Pistons, A&T serving as a “secret stash” of outstanding engineering talent, and former NFL greats like Eddie George and Deion Sanders bringing attention to HBCU programs as coaches. Very uplifting and inspiring stuff here, so check it out.
Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Justin Rogers at the Detroit News and MLive’s Ben Raven both wrote pieces on former first-round pick Charles Harris’ resurgence with the Lions. Take a look at who’s number four on this list:
Pass rush win rate leaders through Week 5 (PFF):— Mike Kennedy (@MikeKennedyNFL) October 13, 2021
1) Maxx Crosby, 27.1
2) Myles Garrett, 27.0
3) Micah Parsons, 25.8
4) Charles Harris, 25.0
5) Joey Bosa, 24.8
6) Javon Hargrave, 23.0
Romeo Okwara, 23.0
8) Aaron Donald, 22.8
Danielle Hunter, 22.8
10) Matt Judon, 22.7 pic.twitter.com/Pt00PR3gUO
- Eric Woodyard at ESPN also wrote about a photography exhibit at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles featuring pictures taken by Romeo Okwara during the 2000 season. You can see Okwara’s work online at the gallery’s site for the exhibit, “Through My Lens.”
- An important call for questions:
- The team is partnering with Priority Health to offer four tickets to see the Lions play the Vikings on December 5th. You can enter the sweepstakes on the team’s official site via a web form.
- There will also be a baseball cap giveaway at this Sunday’s game against the Bengals:
- The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett posted questions and answers from an interview he had with Lions offensive tackle Matt Nelson. Some really cool stuff, including Nelson’s plans for the oversized Panini football card of himself that the company gave him.
- The Lions featured running back D’Andre Swift on this week’s installment of Friday Night Lights: