Last year, quarterback Marcus Stokes was on top of the world—a 4-star prospect, ranked 24th in the class of 2023, originally committed to play football for Penn State, before switching over to the University of Florida in July. This is all came crashing down in November after a video of Stokes, who is white, surfaced on social media of him singing the n-word during a song. Subsequently, the Gators rescinded his scholarship offer.
Stokes’ luck might be changing in 2023. He’s back in the headlines, but this time for receiving a scholarship to play at Albany State University, tweeting “Blessed to receive my first HBCU offer to play at Albany State University! @CoachQGray @ASUGoldenRamsFB @Andrew_Ivins @CoachDrafts @NeaseFTBL.”
Then, later this week, Stokes received yet another offer from an HBCU, this time from Alabama A&M.
Stokes has also revealed that he and his family are planning an official visit to Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina and a private, historically Black Division II university.
After the racial slur incident, Stokes apologized, stating “I fully accept the consequences for my actions and respect the University of Florida’s decision to withdraw my scholarship offer to play football.”
Before being courted by HBCUs this year, opportunities for Stokes ground to a halt, as other Power Five schools echoed Florida’s withdrawal and ceased their recruitment efforts.
Stokes’ father Kevin said about is son’s new fortune, “It’s very unique. Very interesting…We didn’t expect this at all.”
Some might consider it ironic or even inappropriate for Stokes to be given these opportunities after this gaffe, and many have chimed in on this debate, including HBCU Gameday.
The outlet weighed in:
HBCUs have given chances to young men who have been accused of and even convicted of far worse than Stokes. His post was problematic, but attending an HBCU might be just what he needs to understand why it was. He would have professors that could make him understand — if he’s willing — why those words out of HIS mouth hit differently than out of the mouths of his teammates. (Who could probably use the same lesson.) Yes, young men that look like Marcus Stokes get way more second chances than most. If HBCUs have the healing powers we believe they do, the redemption of Marcus Stokes would be another chapter in that book.