GSU duo works as Legacy Bowl interns

The 2022 HBCU Legacy Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game scheduled that was played on Saturday with Grambling State students Keion Russell and Jerrit Payton representing the university as interns.

The inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl interns were assembled by the advisory committee. The internship committee selected HBCU juniors and graduating seniors as qualified students for the internship.

Russell, a senior mass communication major, said he was excited about the opportunity to expand his skills.

“I am definitely proud of the accomplishment and very humble,” Russell said. “This is an honor to be coming from Grambling State and being able to represent us well as an HBCU. 

“I feel like this internship is going to help with being in a professional setting. We have deadlines, we’re connecting with different people in media, and we get to see how people work behind the scenes in these settings.”

Payton, a junior marketing major, is new to Grambling this semester and learned about the opportunity through the campus career services. Payton also has joined FSUB and GSU Theatre.

“The first thing that came to mind is that this is a dream opportunity,” Payton said. “The amount of people that are here, including Patrick Mahomes, the NFL, the Sugar Bowl, and others makes this crazy with all the big-time sponsors and people.

Payton also believes things such as this internship will help get him accommodated at Grambling. Payton has also joined FSUB and GSU Theatre in hopes of being very active on campus.

Russell and Payton are currently gaining hands-on experience during the entire week leading up to the game.

Russell and Payton said the days were “long” and jam- packed with events and things to do. They both believe the experience helped them in the long run.

Alongside Russell and Payton, six other HBCU students  also interned at the event.

It was the  inaugural edition of the HBCU Legacy Bowl. The bowl’s founding was announced by the Black College Football Hall of Fame on March 18, 2021. The game played at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans was the last of college all-star games concluding the 2021-22 football season. 

The bowl's teams were  named after Jake Gaither, coach of the Florida A&M Rattlers from 1945 to 1973, and Eddie Robinson, coach of the Grambling State Tigers from 1941 to 1997.

Television coverage of the game was  provided by NFL Network.

More than a football game, the week-long celebration of Black culture and history provided invaluable exposure for HBCU football players, coaches, and interns. 

The weekend also included a two-day  career fair,  including four panels in total. Stan Verrett, an ESPN Anchor, and Senior White House Advisor Cedric Richmond served as two of the speakers. 

The HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair, presented by the New Orleans Saints, was designed to  provide job opportunities and career counseling for seniors and juniors attending HBCUs.