If you’ve read just about anything high school or college related on this site, you’d know we’re big advocates for recruits getting more exposure in New England.
When we decided to begin our “Draft Profile” series, Central Connecticut State University had two guys who fit the mold perfectly.
Trevante Jones (OLB/DE) and JJ Colimon (OL) are both local guys who have flown under the radar, but as they’ve grown as men and players at CCSU, the NFL scouts have taken notice.
Jones’ football journey initially started when he was playing flag football for a team called the SouthSide Saints as a young kid. The Edgewood Eagles followed in middle school and then Jones eventually went to St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. Colimon’s path towards the NFL started in Cambridge, MA when he was just five-years old.
“My parents noticed how much I loved the game,” he said. “I loved hitting people and running around just having fun and continued to play Pop Warner throughout elementary school and preschool.”
Colimon stayed with it over the years and ended up at Everett High School before deciding CCSU was the place for him. Both Jones and Colimon committed because of how much interest the Blue Devils had. In Jones’ case, he was just happy to get an offer and has made the most of his one opportunity.
“During the college section process, unfortunately I wasn’t able to have a signing day because I didn’t have any offers coming out of high school,” Jones explained. “Luckily, a coach from Central Connecticut State University came to our school after my senior season. I got into the school for academics not knowing that they were still accepting players. In the end, I walked onto the team. After my freshman year campaign, I was awarded a full scholarship.
“I was always told from coaches that if you’re good enough, the scouts will find you. Once I did my part on the field, everything else will follow and it’s starting to happen. I also got my degree in Business Administration.”
“CCSU was the school was the best fit for me because they showed the most interest out of all the schools who recruited me and showed that they really wanted me,” said Colimon. “They made sure they were on top of my grades and made sure I was in a good place with good support when I got there. After my freshman year, my coaches felt like if I kept working and producing, I would have a shot on making the NFL
“I used that as motivation to improve my game even more. I was a double major at central with communication and psychology. I started grabbing their attention my junior year. scouts came to see me in and out of the season just talking to me and getting to know me and sending my profile to all 32 GMs.”
Jones and Colimon will have their Pro Days in two weeks and are looking forward to showing some scouts what they’re all about, especially the ones who may not even know where CCSU is.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for me to showcase my talents to the scouts,” said Jones. “If an NFL team decides to sign me then they will be getting an all-around player. If they need me on special teams, defense or even offense, then that’s where I’ll be. I just want to win at the end of the day for whichever team I’m on. I know that I can be a contributor to any NFL team that takes a chance on me.”
“I’ve been training and preparing with Exceed Sports Group which is a good training program preparing for Pro Day and getting me in shape,” added Colimon. “I appreciate them for helping me get to this point.
“Any NFL team will get a player who brings physicality in between the lines, a player who has top-tier athletic ability and someone’s who’s very in-tune with their communication in between the lines making calls and making sure everyone’s on the same page. I’m very confident in my ability to play at the next level and whichever organization is willing to give me a shot will be very impressed.”
Raise your hand if you knew CCSU had Division 1 football. Now put your hand down, you’re lying.
Whether Jones or Colimon is drafted or not, the fact that two more local guys coming from little-known Central Connecticut State University are on the NFL radar heading into Pro Day season speaks volumes about what’s happening with the game in this area.