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Colorado coach Deion Sanders spoke out at the lack of HBCU representation in the 2023 NFL Draft, congratulating former Jackson State star Isaiah Bolden while also criticizing the other 31 NFL franchises. 

Sanders wrote on Twitter that Bolden, who was selected in the seventh round (No. 245 overall) by the New England Patriots, "deserved to be drafted much higher" and added that he was "ashamed of the 31 other NFL teams that couldn't find draft value in all of the talented HBCU players." Bolden was the only player from an HBCU school selected in the 2023 draft. 

Sanders also noted that he believed Jackson State, the program where he served as head coach from 2020-22, had "three more draft worthy players" in addition to Bolden. 

The 2022 NFL Draft saw four players from HBCU programs selected, including Jackson State linebacker James Houston, who was selected in the sixth round by the Detroit Lions. With Bolden following Houston's selection, Jackson State has now had players selected in consecutive drafts for the first time since 1997-98. The year prior, no players from HBCU programs were selected in the NFL Draft. 

Sanders led Jackson State to a 27-6 record over three seasons, winning the SWAC championship in 2021 and 2022 before accepting the head coaching position at Colorado. The Buffs program he inherited had no players selected in either the 2023 or 2022 editions of the NFL Draft.