The Washington Commanders recently held a rookie minicamp that featured several HBCU football standouts looking to make an impression.
Leading the way was Hampton University wide receiver Jadakis Bonds. One of the top receivers in the FCS over the past couple of seasons, Bonds showed up at Washington Commanders camp and turned heads. He made several tough grabs and that showed why he caught 180 passes and 34 touchdowns in 40 games at Hampton.
“It’s just good to get an opportunity to come out here and showcase our talent,” Bonds said after the practice via Sports Illustrated. “Especially coming from where we’re coming from, it was just a good opportunity to put on for Hampton University.”
Aside from Bonds, there were three players from the same HBCU getting in work at the camp as well. Bowie State’s safety Raymond Boone, defensive lineman Joshua Pryor and quarterback DJ Golatt suited up for the camp as well, representing the CIAA program.
“It feels good to be able to run around a little bit…get sweaty a little,” Boone told HBCU Gameday. “I idolized Sean Taylor since I started the game, so to be able to come out here at the place he started at is a great feeling.”
Pryor spent his entire career overpowering offensive linemen in the CIAA. The reigning CIAA Defensive Player of the Year soaked in the atmosphere as his jersey soaked up the sweat.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity, it’s definitely a blessing first and foremost,” Pryor said. “Just trying to come out here, learn as much as I can, make the most of the opportunity that’s in front of me. Just being able to represent my family and university is just an unreal feeling.”
It was the second camp in as many weeks for Golatt. He put in work with the Baltimore Ravens the previous week before heading slightly south on I-95. It is a route that he’s familiar with.
“Going to Morgan (State), transferring to Bowie (State) and having different coaches and things like that — it actually helped me a lot going into the NFL process. Cuz I understand how different coaches coach and how their language changes.”
Rookie minicamp is a great way to get on the radar of coaches, but it is only one part of the equation. The first offseason training activity (OTA) set to begin on May 23rd for the Washington Commanders.