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HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair provides students opportunities to network with over 100 companies

Event in convention center free to HBCU juniors, seniors and recent graduates and open for registration

As part of the HBCU Legacy Classic, the New Orleans Saints held a career fair and panel on Thursday, February 23, 2023
As part of the HBCU Legacy Classic, the New Orleans Saints held a career fair and panel on Thursday, February 23, 2023

As the HBCU Legacy Bowl game nears and teams begin practices for the game, HBCU students from all over the nation are also getting an opportunity to showcase their skills on a different level.

The annual HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair will take place in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Feb. 22 and 23 is open to HBCU juniors, seniors and recent graduates with free admission. Over 900 students are pre-registered for this year's event from 56 schools.

Shaneika Dabney-Henderson, New Orleans Saints vice president of production and chair of the Legacy Bowl advisory committee, said at the opening press conference for the Legacy Bowl that she has met students who have gotten jobs as a result of attending the career fair.

"This isn't smoke and mirrors," Dabney-Henderson said. "This is not a publicity stunt. This is a real tangible opportunity that I wish I would have had access to when I was in school."

The event features an attendance contest between the three of the New Orleans-based HBCU schools (Dillard University, Xavier University, and Southern University of New Orleans). HBCU Legacy Bowl co-founder and former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams stated he was "a little disappointed" with the turnout from the three local schools last year.

"We got over 100 companies and 13 NFL teams that are at this career fair and they are not just looking at kids, they are giving out jobs," Williams said. "That's what college is all about right. That's why you send your kids to college, to get a degree and to get a job, get out the house and get a job, and we got them right here for you."

Dillard is currently fielding the most pre-registered students at 117 among all HBCUs and also putting them in the lead for the Legacy Cup which goes to the HBCU from New Orleans which fields the most graduates at the career fair. The minimum number of students to win the trophy and the $5,000 scholarship for the school is required at 250.

Students can register to attend this event at and find at more information at

Though they may be here for football, Williams emphasized that the career fair can be important for players as well.

"The most important thing to us is to give these guys an opportunity to be seen," Williams said. "If they can't be seen on the football field, you got the career fair, they can go and get a job, because at the end of the day, it's just as important the career fair as it is for this Legacy Bowl, because we know everybody's not going to get a chance to play at the next level, but you got a chance to get a job with one of these companies, one of these teams."

Several of the coaches participating emphasized the importance of the career fair to the Legacy Bowl including one of Team Robinson's coaches, Chennis Berry Jr. from South Carolina State University.

"What an opportunity for these young people because we know this game of football has an expiration date," Berry said. "It'll end one day and these young men have to be ready for the game of life. So, to have an opportunity to go to this career fair — they're talking about 13 NFL teams, they're talking about different corporations and businesses all across America — and to get an opportunity to get a job, to getting ready for this game we call life, is bigger than football."

Notes from HBCU Legacy Bowl practice

The first practices took place for the HBCU Legacy Bowl at Yulman Stadium on the campus of Tulane University with Team Robinson practicing in the morning and Team Gaither practicing in the afternoon. The two teams will alternate practice slots each day through their final practice Friday.

Berry said the players are still acclimating to new verbiages and playbooks for the all-star game and players will progress throughout the week as they near the game.

"We just want to compete, compete and take care of each other, make sure everybody leaves back healthy, but ultimately you want to see guys compete and ultimately at the end of the day we'd like to get W," Berry said.

Photos from HBCU Legacy Bowl practice at Tulane's Yulman Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024.

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