Sunday, January 15, 2017
Durant played at a small, historically black school, Hampton University and didn’t anticipate playing in the NFL
FRISCO, Texas -- When Justin Durant decided to play football at Hampton University in 2003, the very last thing he thought about was parlaying that opportunity into a job in the National Football League.
“I didn’t even know that I had a shot of going [to the NFL] until probably my senior year,” Durant said. “When agents started calling and I’m looking at the ratings, I’m like, ‘Is this serious? Is this what’s going on?’ ”
Hampton University is a predominantly black university which doesn’t have the training facilities and equipment – and financial backing from its alma mater – which many of the predominantly white universities have. Durant, a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, even admits to the difficulties of trying to get to the NFL via the Historical Black College or University (HBCU) route, yet he knows it’s possible.
“I guess it’s a little bit harder,” Durant said. “But I’ve been trying to tell people that if you have the talent they’re going to find you, especially with all the ways of scouting and how they can get to see you regardless of the different platforms you’re put on.
“If you can do what you need to do, then they’ll come and find you.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars found Durant and chose him on the second round (48th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. That year, Durant appeared on the pro scouts’ radar after he became the first player named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year on three different occasions.