ESPN Events caught up with Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Terron Armstead, a third-year offensive tackle with the New Orleans Saints, to talk a little HBCU football. It was a call Armstead was all too happy to take – particularly since his alma mater is set to face South Carolina State in the 11th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney on Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl (ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET). Here are a few quick hits with the former two-sport star, whom NewOrleansSaints.com senior writer John DeShazier calls a “mountain of a man who has the feet of a dancer.”
Such a description isn’t new to folks who know Armstead, but after his jaw-dropping 4.65 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL combine, a combine record for linemen, Armstead had put his name – and his school – on the map.
Armstead on Arkansas-Pine Bluff playing in this year’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge: “It’s a great opportunity to play another HBCU school. To see your school play in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge with so much tradition is really big.”
Armstead’s memories from the 2012 SWAC championship, Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s first conference title: “Winning the first-ever championship was huge. We had some great players on that team – like Brandon Thurmond, who led the country in sacks. I think he had 19 or 20 that year. Bill Ross was our linebacker. He led the conference in tackles. It was a great accomplishment.”
On being coached by former Washington Redskins linebacker Monte Coleman: “Coach Coleman is a great man on and off the field. He’s a really great guy. He looked out for the guys.”
On playing two sports at UAPB: “I played football and track and field in high school. I wanted to continue to do it. Arkansas-Pine Bluff gave me a chance to do it. It was really tough with my classes and spring ball, but I did it. I threw the shot put. I had a pretty successful track career. I was able to compete against the big schools for the national championship.”
On being a 2013 third-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints: “I was blessed to be able to showcase my athleticism. That was big. The opportunity to get drafted and play for the Saints was great.”
And, of course, the HBCU band experience: “The history and tradition of going to an HBCU and the history of Pine Bluff … I love the bands. I would have to say we had the best band in the world. I really enjoyed our band. Every time they played, I was always listening.”