From The OVC To The SWAC: DB Aaron Webb On Mississippi Valley State Commitment & Putting HBCUs On The Map


HBCUs often face an uphill fight in the battle for highly-sought after recruits and transfers. There’s a pervasive narrative that HBCU Football is less than and there’s no future that comes from the institutions that developed Jerry Rice, Steve McNair, Walter Payton and other NFL Legends. However, the narrative has shifted. A combination of the introduction of NIL (Name Image Likeness), the transfer portal, more access to football via streaming services and Deion Sanders’s two season tenure at Jackson State provided a renaissance to black college football. Top-tier athletes are once again considering our institutions and seeing the value we possess.

Enter Aaron Webb, a rising star with a relentless drive and an unwavering determination to reshape the narrative of HBCU Football. Previously, Webb was a member of the two-time OVC Champion UT Martin squad who upset #10 Missouri State in the 2021 FCS Playoffs. In this exclusive interview, we delve into Webb’s extraordinary journey from JUCO to FCS football and his vision for reshaping the landscape of HBCU football and Mississippi Valley State University.


Randall: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Aaron Webb: My name is Aaron Webb, and I am from St. Louis, Missouri. In my free time, I like to paint and spend time with my family. I also enjoy maintaining my peace, whether that involves reading or simply enjoying the outdoors.

Randall: You recently committed to Mississippi Valley State University after playing two seasons at Iowa Western Community College and the University of Tennessee Martin. Tell us about your journey to where you are now.

Aaron Webb: Coming out of high school, I decided to take the JUCO Route because I wanted more exposure from bigger schools. After having a good second year at Iowa Western, I gained attention from some good schools. However, I ultimately chose UT Martin, and during my time there, I was fortunate enough to be a part of two championship teams back to back. That experience led me to where I am now!

Randall: What’s the difference between JUCO & Division I and how do you develop as a player at Iowa Western Community College?

Aaron Webb: My mindset has shifted drastically before and after Juco. The institution taught me how to be a better student in the classroom as well as a player. I aspired to be better, and I learned the game of football in a more complex way, enabling me to play fast. The only difference between JUCO and Division 1 is the accessibility of resources.

Randall: Let’s talk about your time at UT Martin! In 2021 you were a part of the OVC championship team that went 10-3, including a win over #9 ranked Jacksonville State who have since moved up to the FBS and a huge win in the FCS playoffs over #10 ranked Missouri State 32-31. Tell us about how it felt being a part of a championship squad that went the distance in the playoffs.

Aaron Webb: Being a part of that first championship was very special because we were kind of the sleeper team. Some people didn’t even think we would make it to the playoffs. It was a dream come true for me, and the overall atmosphere was exciting. We were ready to go to work every day, especially after being ranked so low.

Randall: In 2022 UT Martin won the OVC Championship again this time as co-champions with Southeastern Missouri State; you had a breakout season with 14 total tackles, including eight solo tackles and six assisted tackles, you had four tackles against #3 ranked Tennessee. Tell us about your season last year and the secret to your success.

Aaron Webb: I just want to thank God for all my success. There’s really no secret to it—I have strong faith in Him and everything He is doing and will do for me. My season last year was just a teaser of what I can do.


Randall: In the interview with Blue from The Bluebloods you said that you want to change the narrative around HBCU Football. What do you believe the narrative is around HBCU Football and how do you want to change it?

Aaron Webb: The narrative surrounding HBCU football that I believed growing up was seen as a NO-GO! Power 5 schools and even Group of 5 schools have so much money and better facilities, making them more attractive. I want to change that perception and make it normal for us to attend an HBCU, receive a great education, and play great football. I plan on becoming an HBCU legend by the time I’m done, and I want to bring my teammates along!

Randall: As a student athlete that was at UT Martin during Deion Sanders two full seasons at Jackson State, how did you feel that he impacted HBCUs? 

Aaron Webb: Deion Sanders strongly impacted HBCUs, but for me, it was more about Travis Hunter. His ability to go to any school in the country and being around my age changed my mindset on it.

Randall: What made you want to leave UT Martin and transfer to Mississippi Valley?

Aaron Webb: I had a calling, and it was time to do what is right—to continue to represent and uplift the black community and achieve success at a great HBCU.

Randall: What are you expecting for Mississippi Valley this season and what do you believe you all need to improve to bring MVSU back to its glory?

Aaron Webb: I’m expecting a sense of brotherhood, greatness from people who look like me, and positive mindsets. I anticipate a competitive culture within the organization, considering the exceptional talent we already have. I feel blessed to be a part of this organization.

Randall: Do you believe that your experience in the OVC on winning UT Martin teams will help you with Mississippi Valley and, if so, how? 

Aaron Webb: My experience in the OVC and the teams I have played against will undoubtedly translate over to Mississippi Valley. I want to bring that fire to the valley, work hard, and positively impact my teammates on and off the field. It’s contagious.

Randall: Where can we find you on social media?

Aaron Webb: You can follow me on Instagram: @__aaronwebb1 and Twitter: @_aaron7

Listen To HBCU Pulse Radio on SiriusXM Channel 142 HBCU Fridays at 5 PM EST/4 PM CST & wherever you get your podcasts! Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcasts!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here