Bison student-athletes represent NFL in Experienceship Program

NORFOLK, Va. – The National Football League (NFL) recently revealed its Events and Club Business Development Experienceship Program selections. 

Howard University was represented well with the selections of student-athletes Zuri Godfrey (Hampton, Va.) and Jayla Thornton (Newark, N.J.) among those chosen. 

Godfrey and Thornton were among the 10 students from Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member institutions, including five from Howard.

“This is a tremendous opportunity the NFL has provided these students and student-athletes,” Dr. Dennis Thomas, MEAC Commissioner, said. “Real-world experience is immeasurable, and this can only benefit these young men and women as they matriculate through their respective universities and beyond.”

As a football team member, Godfrey has been an outstanding student-athlete, earning MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic honors twice (2019 & 2020). 

The senior tight end studies business management with a concentration in accounting. Since his time in D.C., the Hampton, Va. native has held numerous leadership roles, including Director of Marketing for HU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Recently, he was a BOLD Marketing Intern for Google.

Thornton enters her final season at The Hilltop looking to become the newest Bison to join the 1,000-point club, just needing only 35 points. 

The two-time MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic selection majors in sports management with a minor in journalism while accumulating a 3.8 grade point average inside the classroom. The Newark, N.J. product holds the record for most three-pointers made in a single season (97) and single-game (9). 

The aspiring ESPN analyst chose HU because of the culture, diversity and alumni success.

Howard students’ Kamryn Boone (sports management), Naomi Johnson (dance & journalism) and Jalen Mitchell (sports management) join Godfrey and Thornton in the NFL Experienceship Program.

Participants will participate in mentor/mentee introductions before virtual participation in events, and club business development meetings begin in the coming weeks.

From October through January, participants will be in constant communication and engagement with their mentors. This engagement will include introductions to mentors’ professional networks, participation in meetings where appropriate, invitations to NFL Speaker Series, and additional league opportunities as they arise.

Participants will also be invited to participate in an on-site league or club-driven event at a time to be determined.

The NFL Experienceship Program is just one component of the league’s commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). To learn more about the NFL’s HBCU initiative, please visit the NFL Football Operations website at

Here’s the list of all of the MEAC Students selected

  • Brandon Love (Florida A&M, economics, cross country/track & field student-athlete)
  • Kamryn Boone (Howard, sports management)
  • Zuri Godfrey (Howard, business management, football student-athlete)
  • Naomi Johnson (Howard, dance & journalism)
  • Jalen Mitchell (Howard, sports management)
  • Jayla Thornton (Howard, sports management, women’s basketball student-athlete)
  • Imani Jackson (Morgan State, communications, women’s track & field student-athlete)
  • Jourdan Wallace (Morgan State, sociology [pre-law], women’s tennis student-athlete)
  • Milanna Morgan (North Carolina A&T State, marketing, volleyball student-athlete)
  • Zione Meadows (South Carolina State, business administration, football student-athlete)

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