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Hemingway Ready for Jump from FCS to NFL

Posted May 13, 2016

TE Temarrick Hemingway may have played his college football at South Carolina State, but he's not sweating the big adjustment he'll have to make to the NFC West.

Making the jump from college to the NFL is a challenge for any first-year player. But when a rookie comes from the FCS level of college football, the leap can be that much more difficult

But such a factor doesn’t make the transition impossible. And tight end Temarrick Hemingway feels like he’s someone whose talent may have been overlooked because he played his college ball at South Carolina State.

“They really haven’t gotten to see me play,” Hemingway said of NFL scouts and personnel. “So all they can really look at is the highlight tape that’s on YouTube, and that really doesn’t show my intangibles or anything like that.”

The Rams, however, did take notice of the 6-foot-5, 244-pound tight end who was productive in college and had an outstanding Combine performance. Hemingway was a top performer in the 40-yard dash (4.71 seconds), the three cone drill (6.88 seconds), and the 60-yard shuttle (11.5 seconds) at the event in February.

Despite upping his profile, Hemingway still wasn’t sure how draft day would end up.

“It was an amazing experience to go through,” he said during rookie orientation. “I didn’t know when my name was going to get called, or if it was going to get called. But I appreciated that they did it, and I was glad I came to the Rams.”

One of Hemingway’s traits that excites both general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher is the tight end’s ability to get bigger. While he is raw, he has the chance to put on a good amount of weight once he’s in the league for a bit.

“He’s got tremendous growth potential to where, he comes in at 240 [pounds this year] — a year from now he’s 265 and he’s strong,” Fisher said.

Hemingway was primarily used as a receiver in college, but Los Angeles likes him as a potential run blocker, too.

“He’s tenacious in the box,” Snead said. “He likes contact. He likes going to block people.

“In this league, when you can block and go out and catch footballs, it’s tough on defensive coordinators,” the GM continued. “You don’t tip where you’re going to run the ball. And that’s key for a tight end.”

Because he’s a bit more green coming in, Fisher said Hemingway is most likely to contribute on special teams in the 2016 season. It’s an area where he can be an asset, as he played on every special teams unit but kickoff at South Carolina State.

“When the season’s all said and done, he’ll probably be one of our top special teams players because he’s highly athletic,” Fisher said.

Still, Hemingway will have to make that significant adjustment from the MEAC to the NFC West. But he doesn’t seem too worried about it.

“I don’t think it’s going to be really difficult,” Hemingway said. “Jumping from college, period, to the NFL is a big change. The speed of the game is different. The older guys that you’re going against, they know more than you do. So I think it’s just going to be a learning experience, adjusting to the game itself.”

That’s part of why Hemingway is confident he’ll be able to contribute in his rookie season.

“I’m a competitor. I take advantage of every play I get because I know it might be the last play you get if you don’t take advantage of it,” he said. “I’m 6’5”, 245 pounds [and] can run a 4.6 or 4.7 — whatever you want to call it. I just bring a different aspect to the game that most people can’t do.”