Former Pointer Jamal Agnew makes impact in NFL
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 09/22/17 - 02:19 PM | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jamal Agnew
Jamal Agnew
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Up until last week, only a few sports fans knew the name of Jamal Agnew.

And then Agnew, a fifth-round draft pick of the NFL's Detroit Lions, returned a fourth-quarter punt 88 yards for a game-clinching touchdown in front of a “Monday Night Football” audience of millions.

They know now.

For his tackle-breaking return, the fifth-longest in Lions history, Agnew was named National Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 2 of the season.

So far, Agnew is the only player so far in the season to score a touchdown on a kickoff or punt return.

Agnew, who starred at Point Loma High School as a football player from 2009 to 2012, primarily as a defensive back, later went on to shine at University of San Diego, also as a defensive back. USD was one of only a few universities willing to take a chance on a player many considered too small to compete at that level.

But while at USD, Agnew set a record for passed defended in a career with 48, which marked the number of quarterbacks foolish enough to attempt a completion on Agnew's side of the field.

There was talk of a pro career, but many again considered Agnew too small. He had grown by last year to just over 5-foot 9-inches tall, 186 pounds and would be expected to defend against receivers who often stood eight inches taller and possessed super-human leaping skills.

But Agnew can jump a little too. His Pro Day result was 36 inches and he also turned in a lightning quick time of 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash, raising the eyebrows of pro scouts.

Erik Shlitt of LionsWire says "Agnew is a rare player who possesses both quickness and speed. His balance is extraordinary, and his vision as a returner made him a day-one starter on special teams."

Many have also remarked on Agnew's humility and down-to-earth manner during the many interviews that followed his feat.

To see a video of Agnew's punt return and a phone conversation with his USD head coach Dale Lindsey, go to:  https://www.facebook.com/USDathletics/videos/10156005297466535/.

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