Top Five HBCU Prospects On Offense In 2023 Include Anim Dankwah and Davius Richard

Small schools, big dreams: Get to know the formidable skills of the top five HBCU prospects on offense making waves on the national stage.

Some of the most extraordinary talents often lie beyond the glitzy lights of the mainstream. And the top HBCU prospects are often underappreciated on the national level.

HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) have been nurturing a new generation of gridiron stars. Those are the top five on offense.

Top Five HBCU Prospects In 2023: Offense

1) Anim Dankwah, Offensive Tackle, Howard

A physically gifted offensive lineman, Anim Dankwah, stands out with an impressive size of 6’8″ and 360 lbs. While primarily playing left tackle, he also has experience at left guard and right tackle.

Dankwah’s notable athleticism allows him to move fluidly in various spaces, but he needs to sink his hips and redirect consistently. In the run game, he displays a quick first step, excelling in zone-blocking schemes, reaching and cutting off defenders on the line of scrimmage. His large frame creates valuable rushing lanes, making him a formidable force on the ground.

Dankwah’s strengths also include solid combination blocking, where his awareness and patience shine, although his high pad level hinders consistent dominance over opponents. In pass protection, he utilizes a strong punch to engage with edge rushers, but he struggles against speedier opponents, necessitating improvement in foot speed and mirroring techniques.

Despite needing refinement, Dankwah’s potential is evident, particularly in a zone running scheme as a right tackle. With further development and honing of his physical attributes, Dankwah presents an intriguing prospect with the potential to become a valuable asset on the offensive line.

2) Davius Richard, Quarterback, North Carolina Central

Senior quarterback Davius Richard has impressive physical attributes and a history of productive performances. Standing at 6’3″ and 220 lbs, Richard possesses the ideal size and athleticism for the quarterback position.

His dynamic running ability and decision-making in read-option and RPO make him a formidable dual threat. Despite his competitive nature, Richard can still serve to improve his sliding mechanics and avoid unnecessary hits.

A standout quality of Richard is his poise and leadership on the field, remaining calm and composed even in challenging situations. However, he faces challenges in his throwing mechanics, generating most of his power from his upper body and needing more consistent engagement of his hips, resulting in occasional accuracy issues.

His pocket awareness is average, with room for improvement in sensing backside pressure and reducing the time he holds onto the ball. Nevertheless, Richard exhibits good escapability, extending plays, and demonstrating solid decision-making progress.

To reach his full potential, he must expand his field vision, progress through his reads more consistently, and refine his mechanics to enhance his accuracy.

3) Tairiq Stewart, Offensive Tackle, North Carolina A&T

A promising offensive lineman, Tairiq Stewart possesses an athletic frame at 6’5″ and 300 pounds, with excellent versatility in blocking schemes. His long arms and big hands give him an advantage when engaging with defenders, and his smooth movement and impressive lateral quickness are particularly noteworthy, considering his size.

Stewart’s relentless leg drive compensates for any initial struggles to create movement, and his explosiveness becomes evident when knocking down defenders on the second and third levels. As a run blocker, he showcases high tenacity, finishing blocks with determination and fearlessness. However, he occasionally faces challenges with maintaining leverage and technique, leaving room for improvement.

His versatility shines as he effectively reaches and cuts off defensive linemen, demonstrating the required foot speed and balance for pulling and blocking in open space. This adaptability makes him effective in both man and zone-blocking schemes. S

Stewart displays good athleticism and footwork in pass protection, capably mirroring and cutting off edge rushers. However, he can be vulnerable to inside counter moves from pass rushers, and his ability to anchor against stronger opponents varies. Stewart’s physical attributes, growth potential, and versatility make him a promising offensive lineman prospect.

He can become a valuable asset in both the running and passing games as he refines his technique and consistently uses his hands in pass protection.

4) Deshawn Ingram, Center, Howard

Deshawn Ingram, a versatile offensive lineman, boasts impressive skills that make him a valuable asset in the running and passing game. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 310 pounds, his ideal size and athletic frame enable him to move gracefully on the field.

Ingram’s agility and quickness are evident in his maneuverability and ability to reach and cut off defensive linemen in the run game, showcasing his effectiveness in blocking open spaces. His above-average strength allows him to anchor down against pass rushers, while his strong hands and powerful punch control defenders early in their rush.

In the passing game, Ingram stands out as an excellent pass blocker, effectively utilizing his lateral quickness and hand placement to mirror and control defenders.

Although he occasionally lacks power and physicality in the run game, Ingram compensates with quick recovery and strong footwork after initial contact. He demonstrates good hip flexibility, allowing him to climb to the second level effortlessly and latch onto defenders when blocking in space.

His skill set makes him particularly valuable for teams employing a zone-running attack scheme. While his pad level can sometimes be high, his athleticism and instincts make him a strong overall athlete for his position. With further development and refinement, Ingram has the potential to become an impactful offensive lineman at the professional level, thanks to his versatility, quickness, agility, and overall skill set.

5) Jarett Hunter, Running Back, Howard

An agile running back, Jarett Hunter, possesses good quickness and receiving abilities. Despite his average size for the position, his strong lower half contributes to his on-field strength and balance. Hunter’s standout strengths lie in his vision and ability to maneuver in tight areas, showcasing patience and practical lane-finding skills.

His short-area quickness and burst enable him to quickly change direction and exploit gaps in the defense, demonstrating above-average acceleration and top-end speed. His agility and quickness also make him elusive, forcing missed tackles in the open field.

Hunter exhibits soft hands as a receiver and transitions well after the catch, making him a reliable target in the passing game. However, Hunter’s limitations in power and leg drive become evident when fighting for extra yardage, and he can struggle against stronger defenders, hindering his ability to grind out tough yards consistently.

While he shows promise as a pass blocker and a threat on passing plays, further development in route running would be beneficial. Despite these weaknesses, Hunter’s versatility, durability, and potential as a receiving threat make him an intriguing prospect as a running back.

With continued development, he has the potential to contribute effectively at the professional level.