The Black College Football Hall of Fame has named 23 finalists for induction next year and four former Patriots are among them, including two who played key roles in Super Bowl championships.
"We would like to congratulate the Class of 2024 Finalists," said Doug Williams in the press release, Super Bowl XXII MVP, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Hall of Fame. "Each of these men represents the absolute best of Black College Football."
First up from the Patriots is defensive lineman Julius Adams who played 206 games over 17 seasons with the Patriots, ranging from 1971-1987. Adams made the Pro Bowl in 1980 and was a member of the Patriots All-70's team, All-80's team, the 35th anniversary team and 50th anniversary team. He recorded 80.5 sacks over the course of his career.
Adams was a four-year starter at Texas Southern and was named All-Conference in 1968 and 1970 before being selected in the second round of the 1971 NFL Draft.
Jay "Sky" Walker was a 1994 Patriots seventh-round draft pick out of Howard University but never played a game for the Pats after suffering an injury while playing in the World League as a member of the Barcelona Dragons. Walker had set single-season records for pass completions and passing yardage while at Howard, as well as a single-game record for pass completions with 38.
Two more recent Patriots also made the finalist list, Tyrone Poole and Anthony Pleasant. Both joined the team as free agents and played three seasons each, with Pleasant winning titles in 2001 and 2003 and Poole joining him in 2003 and then staying on for 2004's title.
Pleasant earned praise as part of a critical free agent class in 2001 that helped transform the Patriots into a championship team, while Poole was a part of one of the best defensive secondaries in league history with vaunted 2003 and 2004 defenses.
Pleasant was drafted in the third round of the 1990 draft out of Tennesee State while Poole played at Fort Valley State and became the first player ever selected in the first round from the school. Poole was also inducted into the Black College Alumni Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The Class of 2024 Inductees will be announced on December 14th, 2023 and will then be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 8th, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia.