SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — For many years, African American Quarterbacks were not considered true NFL quarterbacks by most experts.
While they were still considered great players, they were more identified by the athleticism, rather than their ability to read defenses and throw the football.
But this past Sunday presented something different.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, someone who was once told to play wide receiver instead of playing quarterback, and the Ravens defeated Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans 41-7 in a game that pitted two African American MVP candidates against one another.
Jackson is currently leading all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards and he is also 4th in the NFL in passing touchdowns.
As for Watson, the former Clemson Tiger has thrown 18 touchdown passes this season and ranks in the top ten in passing yards.
If you include Seattle Seahawk QB Russell Wilson, the NFL has three African American quarterbacks who could easily win MVP, not just because of their legs, but also because of their ability to throw the football.
"It's good to see three African American quarterbacks in the race because it means a lot to the younger kids," says Jy Tolen, who is an African American QB for Gilbert High School.
Tolen, who is a Senior this year, is in the midst of his own historic season.
He has thrown 45 touchdowns this season and has led the Indians to an 11-1 record.
As a fellow African American QB, he's happy to see that they are now being regarded as more than just runners.
"It shows a lot of teams and a lot of people watching that it's not just about race. Anybody can play quarterback if they're good enough to do it," Tolen said.
Jaffari Pearson, a junior QB at Camden High School, has led the school to their best record in over a decade.
He says seeing the growth of the black quarterback gives him hope for the future.
"It's important because back in the day, people didn't like to have black people on the team, and now it's just really great to see them breaking barriers." Pearson said.
Tolen and the Indians take on Dillon Friday night in the Class 3A State Playoffs. As for Pearson, he and the Bulldogs take on Union County on Friday.