Donavan Burrell is one of 16 top gamers in the contest.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) fourth year business administration student Donavan Burrell is among top gamers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) competing in a Madden Superbowl Showcase this weekend.
Burrell of Detroit is among the top 16 students competing in the inaugural Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament Finals 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. E.T. Saturday.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to play in the tournament and will try my best to win and make our school proud,” Burrell said.
As part of the Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament, players representing HBCUs from across the country participated in a single elimination qualifier tournament for their school’s athletic conference in November 2020. FAMU is in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) but switches to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) this fall.
The top four gamers from each HBCU conference – a total of 16 players – have advanced to the tournament ahead ofSuper Bowl LV in Tampa.The grand prize winner will receive $5,000. Runner ups in second and third place will each receive $2,500. The final two rounds will be broadcast on the EA Madden NFL Twitch channel.
In addition to FAMU, the contest involves top gamers from Alcorn State, Bowie State, Claflin University, Delaware State, Fort Valley State, Grambling State, Jackson State, Kentucky State, Lane College, Morehouse College, Norfolk State, Prairie View A&M, Virginia Union, and Winston Salem University.
“We are excited to continue finding new ways to engage Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Natara Holloway, NFL vice president Football Strategy and Business Development. “This tournament has served as a connector for the top talent within the HBCU and gaming communities as well as provide them a platform to showcase their skills alongside our largest event of the year – the Super Bowl. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with HBCUs and are committed to celebrating their contributions to the game.”
Burrell has been playing EA Madden NFL since he was four or five years old.
“That was when Eddie George, Titans running back, was on the cover of Madden, and ever since then, I loved it,” said Burrell, who had to share the game with his two brothers. Back then, he was permitted to play only on the weekends.
“My parents were always – school first,” he said. “Other kids were better because they could play the game every day. I wasn’t allowed to.”
After Burrell graduated from high school, he had more freedom to pursue his passion.
“I started playing almost every day and got better as each game came out,” he said.
Now he’s competing against the best.