Last week the greater FCS world learned with the MEAC and HBCU world has known for years — Jequez Ezzard is a problem.
The former Howard University receiver/return man literally changed the temperature of the game for Sam Houston State in the FCS semifinals against James Madison University. He scored on an 80 yard punt return and then again on a 69 yard reception in which he made his defenders look silly.
It was a spectacular performance, but not unfamiliar if you watched Howard’s high-powered “Go-Go” offense. In two years under head coach Mike London and offensive coordinator Brennan Marion, Ezzard was literally a threat to score every time he touched the ball.
He caught 34 passes for 895 yards for a ridiculous 26.3 yards per catch average, along with six touchdowns to help Caylin Newton win MEAC Rookie of The Year in 2017. He followed that up with an even better season in 2018, hauling in 40 passes for 1,064 yards and 12 scores for an average of 26.6 yards per catch. Not bad for a guy who didn’t get any FBS offers and didn’t even really see himself as a long-range threat.
“I didn’t run a 4.3 or 4.4 (40). I had conversations with some FBS schools because we had some guys who went to those schools,” Ezzard told The Athletic. “They saw my tape, but they’d either say they didn’t think my top-end speed was there or that I was just undersized or just not what we’re looking for.”
Ezzard headed into the 2019 season primed for a big senior season, but he never saw the field due to injury. It’s probably just as well as that season for Howard was a disaster from start to finish. He switched over to Sam Houston State, a perennial FCS power.
New school/conference — same Jequez Ezzard. He’s averaging nearly 27 yards per catch (753 yards on 28 catches) and has seven touchdowns as SHS heads into the national championship game against South Dakota State. He’s earned comparisions to former NFL star Steve Smith Sr.
“His explosion is out of this world. I have never seen explosion, like literally going from zero to 60 the way Ezzard does, like never, and I’m talking about even in the NFL,” David Clowney, Ezzard’s receiver coach at Howard told The Athletic. “I played six years in the NFL between the (New York) Jets, the (Carolina) Panthers and the Buffalo Bills, and I’ve never seen a receiver that can go from zero to 60, like him. It’s really impressive.”
Ezzard says he has no plans to try to move up to the FBS.