A week and a half ago, Jake Lampman got called up to Sean Payton‘s office after the end of the Saints’ rookie minicamp.
Lampman, a little-known wide receiver from Ferris State, a Division II school in Michigan, had already been through one tryout without an offer, at Baltimore the week before he came to New Orleans.
Then Payton gave him the good news. New Orleans wanted to sign Lampman to the 90-man roster, offering him a chance to prove himself over the summer and potentially into training camp.
“The first people I called were my parents, because they got me to where I am,” Lampman said at the Saints’ annual crawfish boil for the fans and rookies last week.
Ferris State has had a handful of alumni reach the NFL, usually for a short period of time.
But Lampman entered the tryout process knowing his team could play on an NFL. Two of his roommates, defensive tackle Justin Zimmer and college quarterback-turned-NFL tight end Jason Vander Laan, had already earned contracts with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, respectively.
Lampman took that attitude into his three-day tryout.
“I just tried to work as hard as I could and leave it up to the big man upstairs as to what was going to happen,” Lampman said.
Now, Lampman finds himself playing with a bunch of household names in the Saints’ organized team activities this week, savoring every moment of an unlikely NFL shot.
“I think they really liked the fact that I worked hard, and I think they can see that I have a good presence on special teams,” Lampman said. “No matter how long it is that I’m here, every moment, I’m just going to take it all in and work my hardest for this organization.”
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