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How did Larry Donnell get passed over by 31 other NFL teams?

donnellLarry Donnell shined last night scoring 3 touchdowns for the New York Giants and hauling in 7 of 8 receptions.  Donnell Jr., has really become a favorite target of Eli Manning. When the Giants are in the red zone they look for the 6’6 target and he has been on fire as of late.  He had an opportunity to bring down another touchdown last night, but it was slightly overthrown. 

Well things have not always been great for Larry Donnell.  Donnell player college football at Grambling State University.  Donnell had a pretty average college career.  He did not wow anyone with his statistics, but you always could tell the guy had the size and hands to be an NFL talent.

I remember scouting him his sophomore year, and writing this about Donnell.

“Remember to keep an eye on this kid. A long target with soft hands.  If the Grambling State quarterback can get him a ball in the vicinity it will be caught. This kid has the potential to be a top tier tight end if given the opportunity.”

It is pretty crazy that years later we are now talking about what he displayed as a Sophomore. In his college career, Donnell Jr. scored 11 touchdowns, 6 of them coming in his Sophomore season.  Donnell always had solid talent, but the quarterback play at Grambling State was always shaky.

Over his career Donnell hauled in only 38 receptions for 432 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 11.4 yards a reception. 

The one thing that should have separated Donnell from others his Senior year, is his final three games.  Donnell only played in 4 games as a Senior at Grambling State. In his last three games he scored a touchdown in each game. All of those touchdowns were in the redzone. The first touchdown was for 1 yard against Alabama A&M, the second was a 4 yard touchdown against Alabama State, and the third touchdown was a 2 yard pass against Southern. His senior year he only had 5 receptions in 4 games, and three of them were touchdowns. 

It is obvious that Larry Donnell was his security blanket for his quarterback in Grambling State, and he has become that guy in New York for the Giants as well. 

The main reason people failed to scout Donnell is simple. He played at a black college. His stats were not off the charts, and his senior year he only played 4 games. So when the scouts showed up to the facility they were not worried about the player not playing, but rather the other players on the roster. Remember, this is final year of Grambling State football before Doug Williams returned in 2011.  Grambling State football was not the same football without Doug Williams helping.  Although he is no longer there, Grambling State football players have tons of respect for him. If you remember their hold out last season, it was Doug Williams, who brought the team back together.  Grambling State is known for football. They have tons of great players that have made an amazing NFL career. Willie Brown , Junious (Buck) Buchanan , Willie Davis , and Charlie Joiner are all in the football Hall of Fame.  

While some NFL teams may have passed on Larry Donnell, everyone will know about him now.  The former Grambling State product has become and overnight success story. Congrats brother

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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