Golden Rams selected to compete in HBCU Legacy Bowl

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Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 11:14 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A pair of Albany State graduates will continue to represent the dirty blue defense after being selected to compete in the HBCU legacy bowl that will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, February 25. Linebacker Stephan Pierre and defensive back James Hawkins will get the chance to showcase their talents on NFL Network. This all couldn’t had happened if they didn’t create their own legacies.

“I think the last going away meeting. They was telling the coaches to retire my jersey and stuff like that and that just made me feel good. I was just like dang. I really appreciate everybody” said Stephan Pierre.

Although Pierre was in awe by his teammates support over the years, he expected to be selected in this year’s legacy bowl.

He was the SIAC Defensive player of the year in 2021, and was able to add another first team all conference to his accolades.

However his teammate Hawkins, didn’t see this moment coming even after earning first team all conference as well.

Albany State defensive back James Hawkins was excited when he received the news that he has...
Albany State defensive back James Hawkins was excited when he received the news that he has been selected to compete in the HBCU Legacy Bowl(WALB)

“I was packing up my stuff getting ready to head back to the house, and I got this notification from the legacy bowl. I saw the blue check, and I was like ‘this can’t be what I think it is’, and I saw the message and I just jumped up like out of excitement. I was telling my roommate Randy, and I just started yelling ‘AYEEEE I’M IN THERE’” said Hawkins.

Hawkins is from Fayette County where he got to see guys like starting safety for the New England Patriots Kyle Dugger, who came from the division two level as well. Then the 2022 NBA Draft number 3 overall pick, and starting forward for the Houston Rockets Jabari Smith Jr.

But Stephan came out of a small area 15 miles east from Tallahassee where only former Baltimore Ravens running back Javarious ‘Buck’ Allen, who was the only one to make it to the Pros.

“More specific out there in Miccosukee Florida, little country town. I just want to show the people there that anybody there could do it. It’s not just Buck, if I could do it, I could probably pave the way for them. So I know all eyes are kind on me right now. So I just want to show them that they could do it too” said Pierre.

Both these standouts from the dirty blue defense are used to competing but they’ll have to take it to another level in the legacy bowl.

The good thing is since Coemba Jones and Miquail Harvey been through it, Hawkins and Pierre will know what to expect coming into it. They both broke down what they want to showcase to NFL Scouts.

“For me, I want to be dominate on every level. I know for a fact that NFL scouts, they don’t just look at game film. They look at practice film to see the insides and outs of whatever player they’re recruiting. I just want to make sure, I’m on point on all bases” said Hawkins.

Albany State linebacker Stephan Pierre wants to show scouts that he could knock players back...
Albany State linebacker Stephan Pierre wants to show scouts that he could knock players back whenever he comes up to tackle them(WALB)

“I can cover, be able to move out in open space. Just the little things like knock back. That’s a big emphasis too because they want to see if you could knock other players back. Because anybody could tackle. You definitely got to have that pop, that explosion to you, that way you don’t get those extra yards” said Pierre.

Pierre and Hawkins haven’t been told which team they’re playing on, but just know they’ll be playing on NFL Network at Yulman Stadium at Tulane University on February 25th.

Let’s head to the rose city where the Nighthawks played host to Keizer University..

These two teams are neck and neck for 2nd place in the sun conference..

Mohammed Abubakar tries to get