Kearney grad ready for NFL shot

Sports

While Bills fans can’t wait for Sean McDermott and company to descend upon St. John Fisher, Jermaine Ponder has his eyes on a different camp.

The Bishop Kearney grad will be among the 90 players reporting to
Cleveland Browns camp in Berea, Ohio hoping to land an NFL job.

Ponder feels good about his chances.

“I think if I just continue to improve how I’ve been doing throughout my football career and just be myself, I think I’ll be great,” Ponder said.

He was back in Rochester last week to coach local kids at the CTC Football and Skills Development camp downtown at Marina Auto Stadium.

Ponder signed as an undrafted corner with the Browns back in April. He said the reception from people in Cleveland has been a great feeling.

“It’s been great. It’s been a lot. It’s been a lot to adjust to. It’s been fun. It’s been a blessing. I’m just grateful,” Ponder said. “Just seeing my locker and seeing my helmet made me realize I finally just made it.”

Ponder is one of four Section Five grads to receive undrafted invites to NFL camps this summer. Marquise Young (Colts) and Zuril Hendrick (Bears) both still have a shot to make the team.

The Browns coaches have made it clear that Ponder does, too.

“Those guys just told me to be myself. They’ve shown a lot of confidence in me,” Ponder said. “I think it’ll work out for me, for sure.”

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