The game will match some of the top black college football seniors in the nation, but the sidelines will be almost as interesting Saturday at RFK Stadium as the fourth annual Freedom Bowl All-Star Classic comes to Washington for the first time.
Eddie Robinson of Grambling, the most victorious coach in college football history, will lead the Southwestern Athletic Conference all-stars. Howard Coach Willie Jeffries, who became the first black coach at a Division I-A school when he was hired by Wichita State in 1979, will coach the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team.
The SWAC won the first three Freedom Bowl Classics, not to be confused with the Freedom Bowl to be played Dec. 30 this year in California. Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium was the site of the first three games, but decreasing attendance inspired the move to RFK.
"We hope to draw about 30,000," said coordinator Dexter Joyce. "We hope it is successful so we can make Washington this game's permanent home."
Defensive end Reggie Miles, defensive back Doug Dickerson and kicker Ron Simmons will represent Howard on the MEAC team. Linebacker Harris Sermon of the University of the District of Columbia also will play for the MEAC. Both teams are allowed to add players from specific Division II or independent teams.
The Freedom Bowl Classic's first three games involved 34 future professionals, including San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, formerly of Mississippi Valley State.
Hurting both teams is the fact that many of the leagues' top players are underclassmen.
The teams will have open practices Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. at RFK's auxiliary field and at Howard. They will change sites each day.