News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 4, 2020: The number of Caribbean-born and Caribbean heritage players in the NFL got a boost at the end of last week as the 2020 NFL Draft concluded.
Here are the lucky young men who will be playing in the prestigious league.
Trinidad and Tobago-born Javon Kinlaw is on his way to San Francisco, after the NFL’s 49ers made him the 14th overall selection of the NFL Draft’s first round last Thursday. The 22-year-old former South Carolina Gamecocks’ defensive tackle has made a name for himself in the world of American football and is credited as having a performance that goes beyond statistics.
However according to Kinlaw, his childhood was filled with memories of homelessness, poverty and other issues that made him grow up at an early age. He told reporters in January that he migrated to Washington DC with this mother, Leesa James, and older brothers in search of a better life. However, they were faced with many hardships along the way. Kinlaw didn’t play American football until he was 15.
Sent to live with his father in South Carolina when he was about 13, Kinlaw earned a scholarship to play on the defensive line for the University of South Carolina.
Kinlaw, six-foot-five, 324 pounds, is predicted to be a force in the middle of the 49ers’ defensive line, allowing linebackers Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw and Kwon Alexander to roam free to make tackles in the running game.
Jamaican-born Matt Peart, was selected with the 99th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Peart was born in Kingston and he and his family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old, settling in The Bronx, New York. Peart played basketball and participated in the Oliver Scholars Program, which prepares students from underserved communities for top independent schools. Peart earned a scholarship to attend The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts and despite never having played the sport before, Peart became an offensive and defensive lineman for the school’s football team and helped the Governors to four straight Independent School League championships.
Rated a two-star recruit, Peart committed to play college football at the University of Connecticut. Peart redshirted his true freshman season at UConn and was named the Huskies’ starting left tackle during spring practice after redshirting started all 12 of the team’s games at that position during his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons before moving to right tackle before his redshirt junior season. Peart again started all 12 of UConn’s games as during his redshirt junior season. In his final season, Peart was named first team All-American Athletic Conference. Peart started all 48 games during his four seasons of eligibility.
Gallimore who was born in Canada, was born to Jamaican parents in Canada was drafted in the third round (82nd overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, April 24th. Gallimore attended the Canada Prep Academy in Welland, Ontario, Canada. He played in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, becoming the first Canadian to do so. After receiving 30 scholarship offers from U.S. colleges, Gallimore committed to the University of Oklahoma to play college football. He redshirted his first year at Oklahoma in 2015. In 2016, he played in all 13 games and made six starts, recording 40 tackles and one sack. In 2017, he played in 12 of 14 games with five starts and had 28 tackles and a sack. Gallimore started 13 of 14 games his junior year in 2018, recording 50 tackles and three sacks. He returned as a starter his senior year in 2019.
Jerry Jeudy, 21, who is of Haitian descent but was born in Deerfield Beache, Fl, will be playing for the Denver Broncos. Jeudy is the son of a single mother, who was born in Haiti and moved to the US at age 14. She worked various jobs – from making parachutes at an Army factory, serving as a nurse at an assisted living facility and selling blankets and jewelry out of her car around South Florida to raise her kids, including Jerry.
He went on a sophomore in 2018 at the University of Alabama to win the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, Jeudy, caught 159 passes for 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns for Alabama. He was a two-time first-team All-America selection.
Now he is hoping he can return the hard work his mother put in after he was selected by the Broncos as the virtual NFL Draft opened last Thursday night.