Though it is the alma mater of legendary head coach Bum Phillips, Lamar University has not produced a ton of NFL talent.
Set in the town of Texas, the school’s football team competes in the Southland Conference of the NCAA. It is also the school where Rodney Randle, an undrafted rookie of the Los Angeles Chargers played his college ball.
Randle will be the next to attempt to join that small list of players from Lamar who have made it in the NFL. The diminutive defensive back will have to work his way up from the bottom of the Chargers’ defense.
Randle is a gifted athlete and because of the numbers he put up at his pro day, it’s somewhat of a surprise that a team didn’t take a shot on him with a late-round selection.
In addition to posting a 41-inch vertical leap, he also ran a 4.28 40-yard dash. Randle was not invited to take part in drills at the scouting combine, but had he been there, that 40 time would have been faster than anyone there. Not just any cornerback, but any player.
That is blazing speed and because of that, Randle will get a shot in the league even if he’s average in every other department. You can’t teach that kind of speed and if a team can figure out how to best use it, that speed can kill.
Though finding his way onto the roster as a defensive back may be difficult, finding a role as a return specialist is definitely a possibility. Randle returned kicks in college.
Chance to make final roster (1-10 scale): 5
Special teams will be key for Randle this summer because that’s how I see him making this team. The Chargers have long been interested in his ability and they gave him a private workout shortly after his pro day. It’s possible that the team has had a vision for him.
If the Chargers can figure out a way to showcase his speed, then he has a chance to be a guy the team can utilize in games this season, if they can afford the roster spot for a return man. That said, at the very least, he should find his way onto the team’s practice squad as his athletic ability is such that the team should salivate over molding him into a more complete player.