Hellas Construction ad in New York Times Square features Grambling State University

FULL/ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-champion-grambling-state-installing-new-turf-in-historic-robinson-memorial-stadium-300462554.html

GSU in New York's Times Square

AUSTIN, Texas, — Hellas Construction is installing new turf for Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium at Grambling State University. Excitement is growing about the new possibilities that artificial turf brings.

Paul “Tiger” Bryant was hired in January as director of athletics and one top priority was stadium renovations. Out of five turf companies that submitted proposals, Hellas was the only one to ask for a geotechnical report to look below the surface. They selected Hellas.

Hellas will be installing Matrix® Turf, organic Geo Plus® Infill, and Cushdrain® Pad. Hellas’ Cushdrain Pad allows for proper drainage, absorbs stress and diffuses points of impact, adding safety for athletes with increased shock absorption, reducing concussions. The 100% organic Geo Plus® Infill is recyclable, made from select cork and coconut fibers, which resists compaction, increases traction, and will reduce field temperatures up to 40 degrees, compared to rubber infill.

“The game day experience will be something we’ve never had at Grambling. This is going to transform the way we are looked at and opens doors for opportunities to host more than just football games,” said Bryant.

Head Coach Broderick Fobbs said, “We are champions and champions deserve to play on a field as such.” They went 11-1 last year, winning the SWAC Championship and HBCU National Championship at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

Rick Gallot, university president said, “As exciting as this is for our alumni and fans, it’s really exciting for our football players and band members. Our World Famed Tiger Marching Band members are truly thrilled that they get to perform on a top tier turf.”

The first home game is September 9 and an extra home game was added October 28, for the annual homecoming game.

About Hellas Construction, Inc. headquartered in Austin, TX. One of the largest sports construction contractors in the U.S., specializing in general construction of sports facilities with innovative artificial turf manufacturing and installation, base construction, field, track, and tennis planning, installation, and maintenance. Visit hellasconstruction.com.

About Grambling State University Grambling State University, located in Grambling Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University is accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System.

Contact:
Katrina Suits
1-512-250-2910

GSU G-MEN WEAR CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS

Much of the 2016 HBCU national championship football team received specially-designed championship rings during a special Wednesday event

By Sarah-Renee Garner/GSU Media Bureau

After an outstanding fall 2016 football season, the Grambling State University championship football team started wearing big rings proving that they are the 2016 HBCU National Champions. DSC_3160 copy

“It’s a great feeling to win both championships, the SWAC championship, and the national championship. To finally get the ring is just a great feeling to have,” said Quintin Guice, 18, a wide receiver and sophomore engineering technology major from Monroe, Louisiana.

“This rings symbolizes that the old Grambling is back,” said star running back Martez Carter, 23, a senior criminal justice major from Monroe, Louisiana. “To be a part of the era that restored it means a lot to me. I can’t really describe the excitement that we have to finally receive our rings.”

GSU President Rick Gallot happily addressed a room of excited players, coaches and others. “This is the day to celebrate you,” said Gallot. “We have been anticipating this day for quite some time.” The G-Men ring distribution happened at the Black and Gold Room in the Favrot Student Union Building Wednesday (May 24).

Head football coach Broderick Fobbs beamed with pride as he called the names of the players, coaches, support staff and others who made the championship possible. One by one, position by position, each went up to be recognized and to receive their rings.

“If you ask anyone, I really love everyone I work with. I am passionate about my staff and about this team,” said Fobbs, who became emotional as he was thanking them, especially Rev. Lance Wright, the team’s chaplain, an important member of team. Fobbs said one of the reasons the football program has been successful is because they give young men something they want: God and love.

“A lot of people may think love is weak, but I believe love is strong,” he said. “It will tell you ‘no’ when it’s appropriate, and it will tell you ‘yes,’ too.”

Athletics Director Paul Bryant celebrated with the players, saying he is joyful about their championship rings and their championship performance in classes. “I am so proud of the accomplishments of the G-Men on and off the field. They represent what a championship program is supposed to look like in athletics, and it starts at the top with the coaching staff,” said Bryant.

With the winning of a championship, the G-Men have gained support from all over the nation, even from people that might not be expected. Calvin Braxton, an alumnus of Louisiana State University and a former board member of Southern University System Board of Supervisors surprised nearly everyone when he donated $30,000 to help cover the cost of the rings.

“When I called Rick and asked him how much it cost, he said $30,000,” said Braxton. “So I said I would donate $3,000. Well this morning, I messed up and wrote a check for $30,000. Congratulations Tigers,” he said as the crowd roared, giving him a standing ovation.

Gallot put the moment in context.

“God will chase you down with blessings, and will surround you with people who want to support you,” said Gallot regarding the donation. Gallot and Braxton have been friends for many years.

Obadiah Simmons, who was interim athletics director as the football team knocked out opponent after opponent on their way to the championship, received a standing ovation from the football players as Bryant thanked him for all he did to make the team successful, and the championship possible.

###

DSC_3115 copyDSC_3098 copy  DSC_3150 copy DSC_3119 copy

Save

Save

TRIPLET BROTHERS MAKING A SCENE AT GSU

Winnfield’s Wilson trio is believed to be first set of triplets on campus in recent history, memory

By MINIYA SHABAZZ/GSU Media Bureau

Got twins? That’s nothing. Grambling State University has triplets. triplets(1)

“It’s awesome being a triplet. When you tell people you are triplets, it’s like you are a celebrity. You’re famous. They don’t believe it until they see all three faces,” said Stevie Wilson, the oldest triplet.

Stevie Wilson, Steven Wilson and Stephon Wilson are freshmen from Winnfield, Louisiana. At 19, they have become quite involved in the campus life at GSU. As they wrap up their first year, they are becoming more and more popular.

Ulrica Edwards, the university’s director of institutional research, said Grambling State does not keep data about sibling sets, but she recalls seeing twins on campus three to four times in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3,871 triplets born in 2015. That means the Winnfield Wilsons are a bit rare.

“We decided to go to Grambling because our mother is an alumna and we have several family members all the way from the 1950s that attended Grambling, and we are next in line,” said Stephon Wilson, the youngest by two minutes.

Stephon is a double major in business management and computer information systems. He loves to cook and started cooking in 2010. He is so good that he’s been to various cooking competitions and he and his brother Steven went to compete in the Great American Seafood Cookoff in August 2016. They were given a $500 award. His favorite dish is blackened alligator with apple and bellini vinaigrette. He wants to own a restaurant or work with the federal government in computer information systems.

David “Rusty” Ponton, the interim vice president for student affairs, also known as Coach P, is pretty familiar with twins because his mother is one and he was born on their birthday. He said twins have been somewhat common at GSU, and he has seen them over the years many times. He can’t remember ever seeing a set of triplets. “Its kind of unique and it’s always an interesting story to see three young men all coming to the same place and they have different intentions on what they want to be in life,” stated Ponton.

The triplets love to spend time together talking, going to the movies, vacationing, playing cards and mingling.

“It’s fun because you’re able to bond with your brothers.  No one wants to be lonesome and your brothers are like your friends,” said Steven, the middle triplet.

People often can’t believe the brothers are part of a set of triplets.

“We were at the nursing building and we were talking with Dr. Doris Williams and she didn’t believe we were triplets. Once we came together, we took a picture together,” said Stevie.

“I’ve had a chance to enjoy all three of them and they are triplets but they are totally different,” said Ponton. “Just in how they react and how they see things. It’s exciting and interesting to see these young men at the university.”

Although Stevie and Steven are biology majors, they want to take different paths. Steven desires to be an anesthesiologist and Stevie wants to be a radiologist. They were born a minute apart.

Steven plays the piano, cooks, sings, and likes to play football. He served as the GSU Student Government Association freshman class president. He was elected freshman vice president in the fall but when the former president had to step down, Steven stepped up to the plate.  His favorite memory at GSU so far was when his brothers helped him campaign for freshman vice president.

Stevie loves to play alto and tenor saxophone in the World Famed Tiger Marching Band. In late April, he was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a freshman honor society. His favorite memory was when the G-Men football team won the Bayou Classic against Southern University in New Orleans. “It’s such great rivalry between two HBCUs, and it’s a really awesome to experience something like that,” said Stevie.

Their mom, D’Juana Wilson, and her husband, Stevie Wilson, went in for a sonogram at three months and discovered there were triplets in her uterus. The triplets were born at 36 weeks and although the parents were overwhelmed at first, they received a lot of family support.

“Without family I don’t think we could’ve made it,” said D’Juana Wilson.

A computer science major when she attended Grambling, the triplets’ mom reflects on what her sons going to her alma mater means to her. “I have great pride and it’s an awesome feeling that they wanted to follow my footsteps,” she said.

###

 

 

LEADERS TO GRADS: GIVE BACK MONEY, TIME, TALENT

Grambling State graduates told they must start giving immediately as an obligation

By WILL SUTTON/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University’s hundreds of graduates got a double dose of encouragement to support their alma mater. Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. and Grambling University National Alumni Association President Russell LeDay each encouraged the new grads to support dear ole Grambling with talent, time and money. gloria george (doctorate)

LeDay led the graduating class in an oath to actively support GSU and to be a part of the Grambling University National Alumni Association. They stood. Even class valedictorian Sha Drake stood on the main stage. They repeated the alumni pledge, just as LeDay requested during the annual commencement program at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on campus.

Taylor went beyond a pledge, imploring them that they are obliged to help their alma mater.

“You must give something back to this institution. You must,” Taylor told the grads. “Trust me, whatever you paid didn’t cover the cost of your education….Some say, ‘I don’t make a lot of money’ Then don’t give a lot of money. Give something, though.”

Taylor, who regularly seeks funding to support College Fund member institutions, said he asks billionaires and major corporations for a lot of money – and they have a question for him: “When I go out to funders and ask them for money, do you know the first thing they ask me? What’s the alumni giving rate.” That is a big reason they must give, he said.

GSU President Rick Gallot proudly congratulated each graduate as they crossed the stage, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Smiley did the same, hugging several of them, especially members of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College she leads.

“It was the manifestation of why we exist, and that is the completion of these programs with the awarding of the degrees,” said Gallot. “We’re excited to send our graduates out into the world to make a difference, and we’re very much focused on recruiting new students to begin their journeys with us as well.”

Hundreds of graduates were on th floor of the

The graduation was special for all of the graduates, including 292 receiving bachelor’s degrees, four receiving doctoral degrees and 173 receiving master’s degree, a record number in recent GSU history.

Gloria George, a Louisiana Delta Community College student success services specialist who called graduates’ names as they walked across the stage when she was working at Grambling State had her own name called as she received her doctorate. In the audience, dressed in a gold robe, was her mother, Joyce George, attending as a member of the 50th year class reunion group. The elder George, 72, retired after serving 36 years with the Caddo Parish School System as a master teacher and elementary curriculum coordinator. She insisted that the younger George, now 41, be better than average as a young student, and she’s done that. She’s spent 16 years in higher education and with Mary Kay, balancing her job as a Mary Kay team leader in middle management with her other duties, hour by hour.

“One of the greatest keys to success is having a strong spiritual foundation. There were times on this journey that all I had was my faith in God and belief in His promises,” said Gloria George. “He will give you the grace, peace and strength to finish strong.”

Miloni Perera works in the university’s service learning department, helping students gain valuable academic and community service experience as students to prepare them to be productive citizens after graduation. While doing her job, she was taking classes, and she graduated with a master’s in public administration with a human resources concentration. Her husband, Amila De Silva graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science. She earned a 4.0 GPA; he, a 3.9.

Drake was quite the example during her tenure at GSU. She went to class, studied, worked as a student librarian and she was a star hurdler on the school track and field team. With all of that, she earned a 4.0 GPA and was presented as the class val Friday morning. “I missed a lot of activities to do what I needed to do to be successful,” said Drake, a native of Meridian, Mississippi, heading to the prestigious Chicago School of Psychology graduate program at Xavier University in New Orleans this fall.

One of the highlights was the NFL’s Chester Rogers, a wide receiver with the Indianapolis Colts, returning to walk across the stage and graduate in front of his parents and family who traveled for the moment from Huntsville, Alabama. “It was a special moment, a once-in-the-lifetime moment,” said Rogers, who earned a bachelor’s in business management.

tassel turning time top grad shaciara drake shaciarra drake (top grad) michael meadows (SGA pres) honored meloni & aviliaDSC_1978 copy DSC_2281 copy DSC_2176 copy DSC_2112 copy DSC_2065 copy DSC_2059 copy DSC_2053 copy dewain he'bert chester rogers 2 astra watts (miss gsu) honored

GRAMBLING STATE GRADUATES 500

Johnny Taylor

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president & CEO Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)

The spring commencement week includes several activities, including social work and ROTC celebrations

More than 500 students are expected to graduate during Grambling State University’s spring 2017 commencement exercises at 10 a.m. May 12 in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. The university plans to award 318 bachelor’s degrees, Continue reading

GSU ANNOUNCES MAJOR STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS

Robinson Memorial Stadium gets significant football field turf upgrade, high-tech scoreboard

By SARAH-RENEE GARNER/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University Director of Athletics Paul Bryant announced the first major renovations and upgrades to the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium in decades, including a total football field turf overhaul and a high-tech digital scoreboard. DSC_0826 copy

The project, with an estimated cost of $1.5 million to $2 million, is scheduled to start as early as next week. The aggressive construction timeline calls for a mid-August completion, just before the first game against Tulane University in New Orleans on Sept. 2 and the first home game at Robinson Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9.

“I haven’t been here long, but I’ve heard loud and clear from our alumni, students and all kinds of GSU fans and stakeholders that this is long overdue,” said Bryant, who arrived in January. “There’s no time like the present, and it’s time to make this happen.”

In addition to the stadium upgrades, Bryant said the school is adding a fourth home game, something fans have discussed for years. Rather than play the Red River Classic in Shreveport this fall, the Texas Southern University football matchup will be played at home on Oct. 28. TSU has a big fan base, with a 2016 regular home attendance of 5,371 and away attendance averaging 8,665. Bryant said that game will now be the GSU homecoming game. The GSU-TSU game will be Homecoming 2018

The 19,600-seat stadium opened in 1983, replacing the old Grambling Stadium, which was located not far from the university’s baseball field. The stadium replaced a huge peach orchard, and contractors dug a lot of dirt to make the sloping landscape accommodate the football field that head football coach Eddie Robinson wanted. Often called “The Hole” because the entrances sit high above the field with seats in between, Grambling State fans have enjoyed G-Man football home games at the stadium for decades. In recent years, fans have clamored for upgrades.

“In 1983 when the stadium opened it was the only one of it’s kind,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “Now, in 2017, it’s the only one of its kind – and our championship football team deserves a championship stadium.”

Gallot said Bryant and his athletics team brought the stadium upgrade ideas to him and he told the AD he would have to find a way to pay for the project. Bryant discussed options with Marc Newman, the school’s institutional advancement vice president, and David Aubrey, chairman of the Grambling University Foundation, and they hatched the idea to seek foundation support to finance the project. The board approved the concept just a few days ago.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the strong endorsement of Aubrey and the foundation board,” added Bryant. “We have a partnership and a vision that all Grambling State University sports are important, and this is a piece of pursuing championship-level athletics programs.”

Bryant noted that the school’s soccer and softball fields are being renovated.

“President Gallot has the type of athletics vision that brought me here, and he’s allowing me to lead Grambling State to match the huge brand the school has internationally,” said Bryant. “Thanks to the board and the president, we are going to make these things happen.”

Head football coach Broderick Fobbs said he is excited about the stadium upgrades, and he’s especially happy for his coaches and players. “This is huge for this team. This team has been through some tough times and they have stayed focused and brought home a national championship last year,” he said. “This says a lot about how this administration views football and all of athletics, and we can’t wait to play on a state-of-the-art football field with a state-of-the-art scoreboard. Our guys are going to love it.”

Bryant said the company handling the turf overhaul and installation is Hellas Construction Inc., a nationally recognized leader in sports turf. Hellas has designed and installed turf for professional, college and high school sports groups, including the Dallas Cowboys, the Jacksonville Jaguars and several Texas high school teams. A new digital scoreboard will be installed by NEVCO of Greenville, Illinois, sign installment will be done by Shreveport Neon Signs and the new sound system will be handled by Gulf Coast Sound.

Aubrey said the foundation decided to support the upgrades with a significant investment because they believe in the leadership of Gallot and Bryant, and they see opportunities to seek additional support with field and scoreboard sponsorships as well as increased attendance. “This is a lot of money, but sometimes it takes spending money to bring the type of money you need to make a program successful,” said Aubrey. “Gallot says he’s supporting the athletics program with a holistic approach, and we believe that’s what it’s going to take to make the athletic program, and the school, successful.”

Newman said businesses and corporate sponsors can expect to hear about some tremendous sponsorship opportunities associated with the project in the coming weeks. “We’re looking for partners who want to invest in something great, and we’re doing great things at Grambling State University,” he said. “This whole thing has been moving quickly, and that’s really exciting. I like the speed with which we’ve been moving to make things happen. We want to be sure existing and new partners have a chance to join us as the construction gets underway.”

###

DSC_0798 copy DSC_0812 copy  DSC_0852 copy DSC_0854 copy DSC_0760 copy DSC_0774 copy DSC_0778 copy DSC_0771 copy   DSC_0760 copyDSC_07455 copyDSC_0840 copyDSC_0758 copy-1

GSU VAL ACHIEVES ACADEMIC, ATHLETICS SUCCESS

Meridian, Mississippi, native finds Grambling State is a special place

By REAGAN J. HIGGINS/GSU Media Bureau

Raised by a single mother as the middle child of three girls, Shaciarra Drake was determined to be a successful runner and a successful college student. IMG_0147

The Meridian, Mississippi, native attended Grambling State University, moving from a high school track team to GSU’s track and field team and, on Friday, she graduates as the school’s valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA during a 10 a.m. commencement program at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. She found out just a few days ago, and the news surprised her.

“It was Sunday at 8:30 at night when I got off work. I was excited but then worried about the speech,” she said. “The feelings of excitement but worry came simultaneously, hitting me all at once.”

It’s an achievement Drake worked hard to gain. “I missed a lot of parties and outings,” she added. “I prayed a lot, and I decided I wanted a 4.0 GPA. I did a lot of prioritizing.”

She is scheduled to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology at 22. While at Grambling State, she has been president of the Psychology and Sociology Club, vice president of Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society, a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Earl Lester Cole Honors College and Miss Phi Beta Sigma 2016-2017. As a member of the track team, she won first place in the 100m hurdles and broke the Florida A&M record for that event.

She has been an example of academic excellence, and the university administration has taken note.

“Ms. Drake is a treasured Gramblinite and member of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College,” said Ellen Smiley, university provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has distinguished herself as a scholar, athlete and a leader.  We are proud of her academic accomplishments and look forward to her continued success.”

After graduation, Drake plans to attend graduate school for a clinical psychology doctorate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier University in New Orleans. She wants to be a clinical psychologist within five years. Drake wants to gain the skills she needs to better help young children.

“I always tutored children since eighth grade,” said Drake. “I found out it was difficult for kids to learn because a lot was going on at home. I was not able to help them when I tutored them, so I decided I would learn how to help them.”

The valedictorian achievement comes with an obligation: a short speech at graduation. With just a few days notice, Drake has been considering what she wants to say. Drake said she will encourage her peers to protect and defend the legacy of Grambling State University. She plans to encourage her fellow graduates to give back to GSU with donations and networking opportunities. Drake lives by a Ghandi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and she wants Gramblinites and others to know that Grambling State is a place where dreams can be achieved.

“Being a student-athlete, doing work study and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, it was easy to get discouraged,” said Drake. “However, my coach and my academic advisor ensured me that I deserve the best, I can do this, to not give up and you’re just as good as anybody else….”

###

IMG_0149

IMG_0153

IMG_0143

GSU ANNOUNCES MAJOR STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS

Robinson Memorial Stadium gets significant football field turf upgrade, digital scoreboard

By GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University Director of Athletics Paul Bryant announced the first major renovations and upgrades to the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium in decades, including a total football field turf overhaul and a high-tech digital scoreboard.DSC_0774 copy

The project, with an estimated cost of $1.5 million to $2 million, is scheduled to start as early as next week. The aggressive construction timeline calls for a mid-August completion, just before the first game against Tulane University in New Orleans on Sept. 2 and the first home game at Robinson Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9.

“I haven’t been here long, but I’ve heard loud and clear from our alumni, students and all kinds of GSU fans and stakeholders that this is long overdue,” said Bryant, who arrived in January. “There’s no time like the present, and it’s time to make this happen.”

In addition to the stadium upgrades, Bryant said the school is adding a fourth home game, something fans have discussed for years. Rather than play the Red River Classic in Shreveport this fall, the Texas Southern University football matchup will be played at home on Oct. 28. TSU has a big fan base, with a 2016 regular home attendance of 5,371 and away attendance averaging 8,665. Bryant said that game will now be the GSU homecoming game. The GSU-TSU game will be Homecoming 2018

The 19,600-seat stadium opened in 1983, replacing the old Grambling Stadium, which was located not far from the university’s baseball field. The stadium replaced a huge peach orchard, and contractors dug a lot of dirt to make the sloping landscape accommodate the football field that head football coach Eddie Robinson wanted. Often called “The Hole” because the entrances sit high above the field with seats in between, Grambling State fans have enjoyed G-Man football home games at the stadium for decades. In recent years, fans have clamored for upgrades.

“In 1983 when the stadium opened it was the only one of it’s kind,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “Now, in 2017, it’s the only one of its kind – and our championship football team deserves a championship stadium.”

Gallot said Bryant and his athletics team brought the stadium upgrade ideas to him and he told the AD he would have to find a way to pay for the project. Bryant discussed options with Marc Newman, the school’s institutional advancement vice president, and David Aubrey, chairman of the Grambling University Foundation, and they hatched the idea to seek foundation support to finance the project. The board approved the concept just a few days ago.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the strong endorsement of Aubrey and the foundation board,” added Bryant. “We have a partnership and a vision that all Grambling State University sports are important, and this is a piece of pursuing championship-level athletics programs.”

Bryant noted that the school’s soccer and softball fields are being renovated.

“President Gallot has the type of athletics vision that brought me here, and he’s allowing me to lead Grambling State to match the huge brand the school has internationally,” said Bryant. “Thanks to the board and the president, we are going to make these things happen.”

Head football coach Broderick Fobbs said he is excited about the stadium upgrades, and he’s especially happy for his coaches and players. “This is huge for this team. This team has been through some tough times and they have stayed focused and brought home a national championship last year,” he said. “This says a lot about how this administration views football and all of athletics, and we can’t wait to play on a state-of-the-art football field with a state-of-the-art scoreboard. Our guys are going to love it.”

Bryant said the company handling the turf overhaul and installation is Hellas Construction Inc., a nationally recognized leader in sports turf. Hellas has designed and installed turf for professional, college and high school sports groups, including the Dallas Cowboys, the Jacksonville Jaguars and several Texas high school teams. A new digital scoreboard will be installed by NEVCO of Greenville, Illinois, sign installment will be done by Shreveport Neon Signs and the new sound system will be handled by Gulf Coast Sound.

Aubrey said the foundation decided to support the upgrades with a significant investment because they believe in the leadership of Gallot and Bryant, and they see opportunities to seek additional support with field and scoreboard sponsorships as well as increased attendance. “This is a lot of money, but sometimes it takes spending money to bring the type of money you need to make a program successful,” said Aubrey. “Gallot says he’s supporting the athletics program with a holistic approach, and we believe that’s what it’s going to take to make the athletic program, and the school, successful.”

Newman said businesses and corporate sponsors can expect to hear about some tremendous sponsorship opportunities associated with the project in the coming weeks. “We’re looking for partners who want to invest in something great, and we’re doing great things at Grambling State University,” he said. “This whole thing has been moving quickly, and that’s really exciting. I like the speed with which we’ve been moving to make things happen. We want to be sure existing and new partners have a chance to join us as the construction gets underway.”

###

Robinson Statium Upgrade Press ConferenceDSC_07455 copyDSC_0840 copyDSC_0760 copyDSC_0771 copyDSC_0778 copyDSC_0798 copyDSC_0812 copyDSC_0826 copyDSC_0852 copyDSC_0854 copyDSC_0760 copy

ARIZONA CARDINALS PICK GRAMBLING STATE WR

Baton Rouge native says he’s ready to make things happen in Phoenix with the AFC team

By MINIYA SHABAZZ/GSU Media Bureau

Chad Williams was surrounded by family and friends on the couch at his aunt’s house when he got The Call. When he hung up he excitedly said, “Arizona baby.” GSUChadWilliamsAZCardinalsMay2017

Grambling State University’s Williams became the top HBCU player chosen in the NFL draft when the Arizona Cardinals called his name as the 98th pick in the third round.

“I wanted to go to Arizona. I like what they have going on and everything in between,” said the 6-foot-1 Baton Rouge native.

He was named a second-team FCS All-American and first-team all-conference pick for the SWAC, catching 90 passes for 1,337 yards paired with 11 touchdowns. With a 35.5 vertical leap and dashing at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, his head football coach said he would be a good bet, though others thought he was a long shot.

“Anytime you have a guy that catches over 2,000 yards and scores over 30 touchdowns in his career if you put that on anybody’s back you’re talking about a first-round draft pick,” said Broderick Fobbs, who coaches the 2016 HBCU National Champions.

In 2015, Williams had 64 catches for 1,012 yards, 10 touchdowns, and was awarded first-team All-SWAC honors in 2015. In 2016, he helped lead the G-men GSU Tigers to a SWAC Championship and the HBCU National Championship.

The last GSU player to be drafted was defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. Hatcher, who retired last year, surprised Williams with a call minutes after he was drafted.

“He’s been a pro for all three years that he has been at Grambling State University,” said Fobbs.

GSU quaterback DeVante Kincade said this is a moment they always talked about. “He always worked hard and brought the best out of everybody,” he said while spending time with Williams at his aunt’s home in Zachary, Louisiana, Friday night. “He pushes everybody to go harder because he was showing a good example by working hard.”

Williams back that up after being drafted. Asked what’s next he replied, “Go right back to work.”

Fobbs remembers a special moment when Williams told former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn at a Grambling State University convocation that he wanted to be where he was and he wanted to know what it took to get there.

“He’s been a pro from the beginning,” added Fobbs. “A lot of people think you become a pro athlete just after you get drafted. A pro is a person who does things a certain way and he has always been a pro when it came to playing the came to football.”

His GSU supporters are expecting big things, and for good reason.

“I know he’s going to dominate because they are going to underestimate him so when they underestimate him he’s going to already have an advantage,” stated Kincade.

Fobbs said he expects more Grambling State players to be chosen to play in the NFL, in part based on the performances of the Indianapolis Colt’s Chester Rogers, who signed on last year as a free agent, and Williams, who was drafted.

“The state of the program is on his shoulders,” he said.

###

Stephanie Lindsey contributed to this story.