FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the New England Patriots had been contemplating internet hosting Division II receiver Andrew Jamiel for a tryout this week, they reached out to 5-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman for a reference.
Sherman advised the Patriots the identical factor he is been relaying to Jamiel: “What took you so long! He deserves a shot in the NFL.”
How Sherman grew to become Jamiel’s high advocate highlights the lengths Jamiel has taken to maintain his NFL dream alive. When Jamiel graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, in 2020 — having set most of the college’s all-time information — it was the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was purported to work out at Holy Cross’ professional day, nevertheless it was canceled. He then appeared to the Canadian Football League, however its season was canceled, too. So was the XFL’s.
“I was out of options, and knew I needed help; I needed a pro day evaluation coming from a Division II school, so NFL teams would take a look at me,” Jamiel mentioned.
Then someday, as he searched social media, he got here throughout the Fan Controlled Football League, which was promoting open tryouts at a highschool subject in Atlanta. Sherman is an investor/proprietor within the league. Quarterback Johnny Manziel and receiver Josh Gordon are among the many one-time NFL gamers to swimsuit up for 7-on-7 indoor video games which might be performed on a 50-yard subject, with a one-hour working clock and followers calling performs.
Jamiel’s crew, the Glacier Boyz, misplaced within the championship sport within the 2021 season. But Jamiel’s quickness, and knack for getting out and in of his breaks with precision, shortly earned him respect from Sherman, Terrell Owens and others. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Jamiel was declared a franchise participant after he led the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
“A lot of the owners are famous athletes, actors, social media personalities. So I knew there would be a lot of hype and a lot of eyes around the league. It was a great opportunity for me, because at that point I had only played against Division II competition,” he mentioned.
“Going to that league, I was not only able to prove to others, but I was able to prove to myself that I belong.
“I might have simply competed on the Division I stage, and I deserve a shot at a stage greater than the FCS. It was superior to have the ability to chase my dream of enjoying professional soccer, and other people taking discover all throughout the web that I can play soccer.”
Jamiel, 25, went on to play in the Spring League (more traditional 11-on-11 football played outdoors), which ultimately led to his call from the Patriots, the team he cheered for growing up on Cape Cod. Former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is the player he cites as having a major impact on him.
Jamiel arose at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, and his older brother Joseph drove him to Gillette Stadium for a 6 a.m. arrival.
“An superb expertise,” he said. “It was my first official exercise with an NFL crew, in order that complete factor, simply strolling the halls that these gamers and coaches undergo each day, was nice. It made it much more particular, as a result of it’s the crew that’s an hour from my home and I grew up watching them and rooting for them.
“But at the same time, I had to get over that, because I know I belong at the NFL level.”
Jamiel spent 4-5 hours on the stadium, going via bodily examinations, a exercise within the fieldhouse, after which movie work with coaches.
He did not obtain a contract, however mentioned he is decided to remain prepared and presumably add 5-10 kilos of muscle. If the NFL would not name once more, he is ready to be a part of the XFL draft after going via tryouts final week.
Jamiel has additionally labored with some Patriots gamers, coaching with them at native excessive faculties. The group has included defensive backs Kyle Dugger, Joejuan Williams, Justin Bethel and former New England cornerback J.C. Jackson.
“He had a lot of speed, good hands,” Bethel mentioned. “Another thing I liked was if he got beat on a route, and we covered him well, he took direction on how to correct himself to make things better. You could tell he wanted to work hard.
“It’s superb to listen to the issues he is doing to attempt to get his probability within the league … I hope one thing occurs for him.”
Jamiel is also flattered by the support from Sherman, who has reminded him players can make it from anywhere. Owens has echoed a similar message.
“It’s superior, as a result of I do know these guys would not say it in the event that they did not imply it. Them giving props means quite a bit to me, as a result of I used to be at all times watching them rising up,” he said.
“They weren’t saying something too loopy like, ‘He could possibly be a terrific NFL participant.’ They had been simply saying, ‘He deserves a shot.’ I really feel the identical manner.”