You may have never heard of Jequez Ezzard. But the 5-foot-9, 192-pound playmaker from College Park, Georgia, is a big-time player. He played high school football at Hapeville Charter High School and Howard University. At Howard, he was selected to the 2019 Phil Steele Preseason FCS All-America Third Team and All-Conference First Team. He was one of the best receivers in college football during his time. He then went on to pay for Sam Houston State; Ezzard is a dynamic catcher and FCS national champion.
Ezzard posted the fourth-highest yards-per-catch averages, respectively, for FCS players with at least 80 career receptions. Ezzard is now has shown his talents at the NFLPA Bowl game. He’s coming off an All-WAC first-team appearance as a receiver and return specialist. He’s a dual-threat prospect and was also on the Walter Payton Watch list.
Ezzard displayed explosiveness and wiggle in all drills. As a slot receiver, he was able to separate underneath. He did an excellent job fielding punts and has impressed scouts during the pre-draft process. The playmaker combines speed, balance, quickness, vision, and crisp cuts to leave defensive backs in the dust. He can tight-rope the sideline and gets in and out of his breaks. He shows excellent start-stop ability and burst. And has elite speed, cutting ability, good hands, and toughness. Ezzard lets the doubt about his ability fuel him.
He wants to prove that his success in the FCS was no fluke. “I’ve always been counted out and been the underdog. Guys like me are not supposed to make it. I’m just blessed to be here and to be around great competition. I’m learning a lot from coaches and teammates; it’s been a great process so far.”
He compares his game to one of the best slot receivers in recent memory. He patterns his game after Julian Edelman. Put Ezzard anywhere when you need a play. He feels he’s a number one guy. The receiver brings consistency and hard work to the field. He believes in himself, and if a coaching staff believes in him, the sky is the limit.
On his week at the NFLPA bowl, “I can compete with these guys. We’re all the same and bleed the same. It’s no difference, you line up one on one, and the best man wins. I’m a competitor and a fighter. It’s what I do.”
Being a five-star recruit won’t guarantee you a spot in the NFL. NFL rosters don’t solely consist of can’t-miss high school stars. Playing for a Power 5 program can turn you into a household name and entice scouts to overlook a lackluster college career. But on Sundays, all that goes out the window.
The history of the NFL has talent from the FCS. Current players include Carson, Wentz, Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, Darius Leonard, to name a few. Hall of Fame players has come from the FCS. John Randle, Kurt Warner, Charles Haley, and Michael Strahan came from FCS. Don’t let the level of college football fool you. Ezzard has the makings of an NFL player who could have a long career. The past has shown that FCS players can hang with anybody in the league.