Eastern Jackson County will be sending several players to National Football League camps.
Four local high school graduates signed as undrafted free agents this weekend following the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.
Blue Springs South graduates Kendall Blanton and Josh Watson, Blu Springs graduate Darrius Shepherd and Lee’s Summit North grad Josh Caldwell will all get their chance to make an NFL roster.
Blanton, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end from Missouri, has signed with the Los Angeles Rams after 44 catches for 476 yards and six touchdowns in his college career. He had 22 catches for 177 yards and two scores in his senior season.
Watson, a 6-2, 240-pound linebacker for Colorado State, has signed with the Denver Broncos. He amassed 365 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions in his career at Colorado State. He had 130 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, as a senior last fall.
Shepherd, a 5-foot-11, 188-pound wide receiver who helped lead North Dakota State to the FCS national championship last fall, earned a mini-camp invitation with the Green Bay Packers. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 38-24 FCS Championship win over Eastern Washington after catching five passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Shepherd, who earned four FCS national title rings in his four years at North Dakota State, finished his senior season with 62 receptions for 1,065 yards and nine touchdowns, giving him 188 receptions, 2,841 yards and 20 touchdowns for his college career.
Caldwell, an NCAA Division II All-American in 2016 and an All-MIAA running back at Northwest Missouri State, got a mini-camp invitation from the Washington Redskins. He had 139 carries for 830 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall. He finished his career with the Bearcats with 3,741 yards and 35 scores.