Ten Northeast Conference football alumni went to work as all 32 NFL teams hosted rookie mini camps over the first two weekends of May.
Three of those men were signed to contracts prior to rookie camp while the other seven former NEC ballers participated with their respective NFL teams on a tryout basis.
Central Connecticut’s all-time leading passer Jacob Dolegala (Bengals) and former Wagner signal caller TJ Linta (Chiefs) agreed to terms on free agents deals in the hours following the NFL Draft as did Saint Francis U’s all-NEC cornerback Jermaine Ponder (Browns).
After not earning a contract despite a productive three-day performance at Giants’ camp, Duquesne’s Nehari Crawford accepted a second tryout from the Steelers one week later. Crawford, who led the NEC in receiving yards in 2018, has not yet been signed, but he has managed to make an impression in front of NFL coaches and talent evaluators.
Bryant’s Tom Kennedy, an all-NEC first team WR in 2017, impressed enough at Lions’ rookie camp to warrant a signing. The quickness and athleticism that allowed Kennedy to collect all-conference honors at the Division I level in two different sports (football and lacrosse) could lead to a successful career as a NFL slot receiver.
All NEC alumni who competed at a NFL Rookie Camp this month are listed below along with their current contract statuses.
NFL Rookie Camp Participants
NEC Player – NFL Team (current status)
QB Jacob Dolegala – Bengals (Signed)
DB Jermaine Ponder – Browns (Signed)
QB TJ Linta – Chiefs (Signed)
WR Tom Kennedy – Lions (Signed [post-tryout])
WR Nehari Crawford – Giants / Steelers (tryout FA)
OG Matt Fitzpatrick – Seahawks (tryout FA)
LB Tom Costigan – Chargers (tryout FA)
DB Hakeem Kinard – Buccaneers (tryout FA)
RB Ryan Fulse – Eagles (tryout FA)
OG Larson Graham* – Giants (tryout FA)
* Non-rookie status