Undrafted Status Doesn’t Deter Former FAMU Football Players


By Chris Bony

Outlook Writer

Playing on a conference championship team is no guarantee of a future in the NFL. There’s not even a safe bet for anyone who had anything to do with winning a national college football title.

Getting in the NFL –the league that most kids dream of reaching – is the most difficult job to attain.

Even so, it’s a struggle that most aspiring players are willing to endure.

Like several other players before him, former FAMU receiver Kevin Elliot, who had a brief stint in the league, knows now that a career in the NFL could require taking a winding path.

Since being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars a year ago Elliot has been able to play in the Canadian Football League. He just wants to play professional football.

“I told my agent I didn’t want any money, promises or anything, just get me in the camps and I’ll do the rest,” Elliot said.

Elliot was an exception getting into the NFL in the first place. Several surveys have shown that just one percent of collegiate players get drafted each year. A majority of the other 99 percent who want to hold fast to their dreams often do so without any certainties.

That has been the fate of Elliot’s former FAMU teammate Terry Johnson who had been job hunting for over a year before the Montreal Alouettes signed him recently.

His faith never waned.

“I never thought any less of myself because I knew I was here for a reason,” said Johnson. “I know I’m supposed to be on the next level but God just chose a different path for me.”

After missing the draft, Johnson was invited to a three-day minicamp to work out with the Seattle Seahawks.

“I looked at it as just another opportunity to prove myself,” Johnson said. “A lot of players don’t even get to that point”

But it’s not a hopeless situation. It is common for some NFL teams to invite undrafted athletes for workouts to take one last look at potentially available talent.

Elliot and Johnson both played on the last FAMU team to win at least a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title four seasons ago. Defensive linemen Padric Scott was also a part of that team.

Scott was not drafted but was invited to workout with the Arizona Cardinals and eventually signed. He’s currently playing in the Arena Football League.

His persistence to play professional football is fueled by his experience in the NFL.

“It’s all about your outlook,” Scott said, “and perspective and how you choose to handle the situation.”