Hampton University defensive back Byron Perkins plans to leave college and declare for the 2024 NFL Draft.
According to Blavity, Byron Perkins the first openly gay HBCU football prospect has declared for the draft.
Only one openly gay man has been selected in the NFL Draft in the past: Michael Sam in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Scott Frantz was in the 2020 NFL Draft, but was not selected.
Frantz publicly came out as gay, joining My-King Johnson as two of the first openly gay players in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Later that same year, Frantz became the first openly gay college football player to play in a game for an FBS school. He started 51 straight games for the Wildcats and was named second-team All-Big-12 in his senior year in 2019.
Perkins let it be known that he was openly gay back in 2022.
“I’ve decided that I’m going to make a change, and stop running away from myself,” Perkins wrote on Instagram. “I’m gay, let it be known that this is not a ‘decision’ or a ‘choice.’ Yes, this is who I am, this is who I’ve been, and this is who I’m going to be.
“Simply put, I am who I am.”
Perkins will have an uphill battle to be selected, because as of right now many have him projected as an undrafted free agent. He is a solid player and has made plays over his career. The 6’3 cornerback formerly of Purdue University finished the season with 16 tackles, 1 interception and 3 pass break-ups.
If he can test well for his pro day he could help his chances of being selected, because he has great length at 6’3. Teams like long corners with speed! Congrats to Byron and good luck in your journey.