Savannah State University has had multiple individuals that not only graduated with their degrees, but who also became known as professional athletes.
Shannon Sharpe is a former NFL tight end that played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. Shannon Sharpe was born June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois. Sharpe was raised in Glennville, Ga, where he attended Glennville High School. Sharpe went to Savannah State University where he was involved in numerous sports such as football, track and field, and basketball. While at Savannah State, Sharpe was a key player for Savannah State Tigers becoming a three-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection from 1987-1989. Sharpe set new records for Savannah State’s in the years 1988 and 1989. In 1990, Sharpe was drafted in the 7th round as pick 192. Sharpe played 12 seasons for the Denver Broncos from (1990-99, 2002-03) and two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens from (2000-01). As an NFL player, Sharpe has won three championship rings in Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl XXXV. After his playing career ended, Sharpe’s began getting involved in sports broadcasting by becoming a commentator for television shows such as CBS Sports pregame show, The NFL Today and Fox Sports 1’s, Undisputed. Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011.
Troy Hambrick is a former NFL running back for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. Hambrick was born December 6, 1976 in Lacoochee, Fla. Hambrick transferred to Savannah State as a starting running back for the Tigers. Hambrick was recognized for his records he set in football from having the most rushing touchdowns, rushing yards and most total touchdowns in 2000. Hambrick was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. Hambrick is most known as the player known who replaced Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith as the Cowboys starting running back. In May 2004, Hambrick was signed as a free agent by the Oakland Raiders. However, within a month Hambrick was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. In 2007 he signed with the Utah Blaze of the AFL for a comeback attempt but was waived due to an arrest.
Bobby Curtis is a former NFL linebacker for the Washington Redskins. Curtis was born Oct. 23, 1964 in Macon, Ga. In 1987, Curtis was drafted to the Redskins.
Ernest Miller is a former professional wrestler who most notably competed in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 1997-2004. Miller was born January 14, 1964 in Atlanta, Ga. Miller started at Savannah State as a linebacker for the Tigers football program. Miller then transitioned and started a career in karate where he won the world championship three times. He began his professional wrestling career in 1997 by weighing 235 lb. and standing at a height of 6 ft. 2., and went by the name “The Cat”. Miller was ranked as number 497 of the 500 best wrestlers during the Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2003.
Kyle McGowin is currently a pitcher for the Washington Nationals. He graduated from Savannah State University in 2014. While at SSU, he led the MEAC in strikeouts (111) and wins and was Nationally ranked sixth by the end of the season of his senior year. McGowin was drafted in the fifth round of MLB’S First- Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He made his first debut on Sept 5th for the Washington Nationals. In his professional debut, McGowin retired his first eleven batters he faced before giving up two out single and walk in the fourth against the Miami Marlins. McGowin wishes to improve as the future season comes along but is grateful for this opportunity. “I can’t thank Davey and the Nationals enough for giving me this opportunity. Everything worked out where I was able to have this opportunity and felt comfortable starting finally.” - Kyle McGowin on his first MLB start
Alante Fenner plays professional basketball overseas for the Liga Nacional de Basquetbol de Chile. Fenner graduated from Savannah State University in May of 2018. While at Savannah State, Fenner was named MEAC player of the week and named to the 2017-2018 MEAC All Conference Team. He scored his career high game of 46 points against Morgan State University on February 10, 2018. Recently, Fenner was featured in the Diarioaustral Region de los Rios Newspaper Issue, for the meeting of Friendship Organization by the School of Basketball.