FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the New England Patriots were considering hosting Division II receiver Andrew Jamil for a trial this week, he reached a five-time All-Pro cornerback. Richard Sherman for a reference.
Sherman told the Patriots the same thing he was giving Jamil: “What took you so long! He deserves a shot in the NFL.”
How Sherman became Jamil’s top lawyer highlights how much time Jamil has taken to keep his NFL dream alive. When Jameel graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts in 2020 – setting several of the school’s all-time records – it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was supposed to work out for Holy Cross’s pro day, but it was cancelled. He then looked to the Canadian Football League, but its season was also cancelled. So was the XFL.
“I was out of options, and I 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,” Jamil said.
Then one day, when he searched social media, he found a fan-controlled football league advertising open tryouts on the grounds of a high school in Atlanta. Sherman is an investor/owner in the league. Quarterback Johnny Manziel and Receiver Josh Gordon One-time NFL players are one of the best suited for 7-on-7 indoor games that are played on a 50-yard field, with an hourly running clock and fans calling plays.
Jameel’s team, the Glacier Boys, lost in the 2021 season in the championship game. But Jamil’s knack for getting in and out of his breaks with quickness and precision earned him respect from Sherman, Terrell Owens, and others. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Jameel was declared the franchise player after leading 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 eyeballs around the league. It was a great opportunity for me, because at the time I only had against Division II competition. played,” he said.
“Going into that league, not only was I able to prove to others, but I was able to prove to myself that I belong.
“I could easily compete at Division I level, and I deserve a shot at a higher level than FCS. To be able to pursue my dream of playing pro football, and people all over the internet noted that I can play football.”
Jameel, 25, went on to play in the Spring League (more traditional 11-on-11 football played outside), which eventually led to his call from the Patriots, the team he cheered for growing up in Cape Cod. Former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is the player he cites as being a big influence on him.
Jamil woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Monday and his older brother Joseph took him to Gillette Stadium to arrive at 6 a.m.
“A wonderful experience,” he said. “It was my first official workout with an NFL team, so the whole thing, just walking around the halls where these players and coaches go through every day, was great. It made it even more special, because this is the team that’s the one. The hour is from my home and I have grown up watching them and rooting for them.
“But at the same time, I had to get over it, because I know I’m at the NFL level.”
Jameel spent 4-5 hours in the stadium, going through a physical exam, working out in the fieldhouse and then doing film work with the coaches.
She didn’t get any contracts, but she said she’s determined to be ready and possibly add 5-10 pounds of muscle. If the NFL doesn’t call again, he is set to be part of the XFL Draft after undergoing a tryout last week.
Jameel has also worked with some Patriots players, training with them at local high schools. The group includes defensive backs. Kyle Duggar, jojuan williams, Justin Bethel and former New England cornerback Jesse Jackson,
“He had a lot of speed, good hands,” Bethel said. “Another thing I liked was that if he was defeated along the way, and we covered him well, he gave direction on how to heal himself to make things better. You might say That he wanted to work hard.
“It’s amazing to hear all that he’s doing to try to get his chance in the league… I hope something happens to him.”
Jameel is also happy with the support of Sherman, who has reminded him that players can make it from anywhere. Owens has sent a similar message.
“It’s great, because I know they wouldn’t say that if they didn’t mean to. Supporting them means a lot to me, because I was always watching them grow up,” he said.
“They weren’t saying anything crazy like, ‘He could be a great NFL player.’ All they were saying was, ‘He deserves a shot’. I feel the same way.”