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Jequez Ezzard was the most dangerous man in the FCS

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2021 NCAA Division I Football Championship Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Jequez Ezzard, WR
School: Sam Houston State | Conference: Southland
College Experience: Grad Student | Age: 22(?)
Height / Weight: 5’9” / 195 lbs

College Statistics

https://gobearkats.com/sports/football/roster/jequez-ezzard/7971

Player Overview

Originally out of College Park, GA, Jequez Ezzard had only one scholarship offer coming out of high school, from Howard University in Washington, DC. At the time, Ezzard didn’t even know where Howard was located. In his first two years there, he totaled nearly 2,000 yards receiving, before losing most of his 2019 season to injury.

At that point, he decided to enter the transfer portal, selecting Sam Houston State above several of the other FCS schools that were interested in his talents. Why did he choose Sam Houston State? Ezzard explains his decision below:

Well, I’m not a big social media person. When I eventually entered into the portal, my best friend J.P told me that I could go anywhere in the country. He said he was going to make me a Twitter and he was going to reach out to every coach possible. He ended up showing me a screenshot that he had reached out to 600 coaches on the first day that he made the Twitter.

When he told me about all the coaches and what they said, it sounded like they were trying to recruit me. I told him that I didn’t want to come in like I was a freshman. I told him to keep it FCS, and he started reaching out to North Dakota State and James Madison and such.

I was thinking about it and I knew it would be guaranteed to win at one of those schools. I told him to find me a team with a great defense that has never got over the hump. I wanted one of those underdog teams. I wanted a team that was always in contention but could never finish it off.

He reached out to a few more and then he found Sam Houston. They got back to us and it just went from there.

His first year at Sam Houston was the COVID disrupted 2020 season, where many of the FCS teams played in the spring. Ezzard had 861 yards receiving (22.7 yards per catch) and helped guide his team to an FSC championship over South Dakota State. That spring he also returned 2 punts for TDs and averaged 14 yards per return.

His time at Sam Houston State, both as a WR and as a return man, solidified him as one of the most explosive players in college football.

Ezzard also made Bruce Feldman’s 2021 “College Freaks” list:

34. Jequez Ezzard, Sam Houston, wide receiver/kick returner

The Bearkats star is the biggest-play big-play receiver in college football. The 5-9, 192-pound Ezzard sparked Sam Houston’s FCS national title run, averaging 27 yards per catch and 18 yards per punt return thanks to his ridiculous burst and slick moves. His receivers coach at his previous college, former Virginia Tech star David Clowney, knows plenty about freaky athletes, having run a 4.28 40 in college and vertical jumped 40.5 inches at the NFL combine, gushed about Ezzard’s athleticism.

“He’s a different type of animal when it comes to speed,” said Clowney, who was Ezzard’s receivers coach for two seasons at Howard, where he averaged 26 yards per catch in 2017 and 27 yards per catch in 2018. “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.”

Ezzard, a former high school basketball standout who played center despite being only 5-9, vertical jumped 43 inches at Howard, where the strength coach said it “looked like he was levitating.” This offseason in testing, Ezzard benched 335, squatted 455 and power cleaned 415.

Strengths

  • Has excellent short area quickness and body control.
  • Is able to use his sticky hands to make catches above larger defenders.
  • Possesses top end catch focus.
  • Has good vision for the field, and is athletic enough to elude many defenders.

Weaknesses

  • Played against lower level competition.
  • Small stature.
  • Projects primarily as a returner in the pros, with some potential as a slot.
  • Has to improve his route running.

Let’s See His Work

How He Will Fit

My initial impression is that - at a minimum - Ezzard could be a virtual carbon-copy replacement for Washington’s former return man, Deandre Carter, who went to the Chargers this offseason. Carter, at 5’8” 188lbs, is actually a little bit smaller than Ezzard, but both players are very similar, in terms of their athletic profiles.

Whether Carter’s punt return duties might be picked up by another player on the roster - Jahan Dotson was an effective return man at Penn State and Dax Milne returned punts at BYU - will surely be examined by the team this offseason, but if Ezzard were able to excel in that role, it’s probably his easiest path onto the roster. The issue becomes, as Washington’s WR room gets increasingly crowded, the final WR on the roster is almost certainly going to have to be a key special teamer.

Ezzard’s athletic talent is impressive, but what intrigues me most in the pre-draft evaluations I’ve read is his apparent character and drive. Take these quotes from his early days at Sam Houston State:

I’m kind of a “to myself” type of guy, but once I get around the guys, my personality starts to show. I just wanted to come in and take in their culture and take in their success. I just wanted to soak in what (the coaches) were teaching them and how they went about their process.

They were out there putting in the work day and night, so I knew it was time for me to up my standards so I could play at this level. It was a transition, but those guys there bring you in with open arms. They are all humble and grinding and they just wanted to win, man.

As a smaller WR who models his game after Julian Edelman, because he was a player who, “did everything that he could to help his team have success,” the focus and seriousness that he demonstrates below gives me the sense that he could have a legitimate shot to, at least, make Washington’s practice squad, and to compete for a back end roster spot.

I’m all business, man. I’m not one to hang out a lot, especially during the season. I just want to be great and I want to help my team. I never want to be the one where I’m causing the distraction or taking away the focus from the team’s goals.

I’m just a solid dude. I’m going to get to business, I’m going to understand my playbook, and I’m going to help all of my teammates and coaches have all the success that we can as a unit.

Poll

Will Jequez Ezzard make Washington’s roster this season?

  • 41%
    Yes, as WR6 or WR7.
    (423 votes)
  • 51%
    No, but he’ll make the practice squad.
    (529 votes)
  • 6%
    No, he’ll be cut.
    (69 votes)
1021 votes total Vote Now