By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – The thought was that in his senior season and with an offensive coordinator in Dave Brock that has a history of utilizing the tight end, D.C. Jefferson was poised for a breakout season. But with just 18 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown, that wasn’t exactly the case.
“I wouldn’t say I got the ball thrown to me as much as I liked,” Jefferson told SNY.tv “But the times I did get it I enjoyed the opportunity that I got. They put me in the situation to trust me and I had an opportunity to make the plays that I did make.”
And while they were few and far between, the tight end who is an elite blocker feels it was enough to show NFL scouts, coaches and general managers what he can do as a receiver.
“I think that I got enough film to let them see that I can catch the ball,” the quarterback turned tight end said. “But more importantly, myself, I’m proving to myself that I can catch the ball when that moment comes, so that’s the biggest thing for me. The confidence that I have in myself right now.”
A bravado Jefferson will carry with him to the East-West Shrine game on January 19 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. A game and a week of practice prior that the 6-foot-6, 250-pounder knows is crucial.
“I think it’s extremely important week. An opportunity to get to go out and compete with other top tight ends in the country. See what they have based off what I have,” Jefferson said. “It’s a big opportunity for NFL scouts to see me play and perform and see that I can catch the ball and be that every down tight end so it’s something that I’m looking forward to.”
But first up is his final game as a Scarlet Knight. And with the Russell Athletic Bowl being in his own backyard, the Winter Haven, FL native is excited to be playing just a half hour from his home.
“It’s going to be pretty exciting,” Jefferson said. “I know Orlando like the back of my hand, so I’m going to have a good time and show the guys around.”