The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register


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N.C. A&T’s DaSean Wade Neclos Jr. wins Madden NFL 23 HBCU Tournament


The National Football League (NFL) hosted it’s third annual EA Sports Madden NFL 23 HBCU Tournament during Super Bowl LVII weekend in Arizona which was won by an N.C. A&T student.

Senior computer engineering student DaSean Wade Neclos Jr. took home a cash prize of $7,500 as a result of winning the tournament. After losing as a finalist in last year’s tournament, Neclos Jr. turned it around this year and took home bragging rights.

“I didn’t take Madden too seriously last year which was why I wasn’t able to showcase my true talent a year ago,” Neclos Jr. said, following his tournament victory. “Leading up to this year’s tournament, I competed in a lot of Madden Championship Series tournaments and played against a bunch of professional gamers which helped me lock in to win it all this year.”

The all-expenses paid trip to Arizona was set up to give students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to compete in the tournament while also learning the business of sports through career shadowing and networking opportunities. The NFL hosted the student finalists with this exclusive experience during the week leading up to Feb. 12 where each student attended Super Bowl LVII in State Farm Stadium.

According to Bloomberg, the program experienced significant growth in its third season with player participation expanding by 200 percent and school representation increasing by more than 44 to 56 percent of schools.

Neclos Jr. represented N.C. A&T alongside fellow Aggie Quran Watts in Scottsdale, Arizona as part of a group of 13 students from nine different HBCUs in this year’s tournament.

Weeks before being selected as a finalist, Neclos Jr. played in a few qualifiers tournaments in which he competed to the fullest — winning one of the tournaments, solidifying his spot as a finalist once again in the Madden NFL HBCU Tournament.

The Washington D.C. native says he has been playing Madden since he was about 10-years-old and refused to let the moment become too big for him.

“I’m a very confident player and I always remain confident in myself and my ability,” Neclos Jr. said. “I was tested in the championship game since they switched us from next-gen to current-gen, which we had been playing on leading up to that game, so I doubted myself in the first half because of that. In the second half, I locked in and got my confidence back to win the game. I just knew I had to come out on top.”

DaSean, also known by his friends and other gamers as “Suave”, faced off against Livingstone College’s Shareik S. Rutledge in the championship game. In the championship, Neclos Jr. used the Green Bay Packers to defeat Rutledge’s Kansas City Chiefs 24-10.

The game was broadcast live on YouTube to the NFL’s 11 million subscribers and featured commentary from Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons.

“It was great meeting people like Justin Jefferson and Micah Parsons while I was in Arizona. They both understand how important it is to stay together as minorities and how impactful this opportunity was for HBCU students to get noticed,” Neclos Jr. explained. “I didn’t feel like I met the celebrity side of them — I met the real them, so that was pretty cool.”

Neclos Jr. isn’t just a Madden gamer, he plays NBA 2K as well and streams a lot of his gameplay on his Twitch account throughout the week. After winning the Madden NFL 23 HBCU Tournament, DaSean says that he has goals set out for him to accomplish and wants to capitalize on the opportunity given to him.

“I just want to grow my platform even further so the world can see my true talent. The next step for me to do is to keep grinding and hopefully win a Madden Championship Series belt. I’m ready to take over.”

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