Throughout the offseason, The Game Haus will be spotlighting some under-the-radar prospects hoping to continue their football careers on the professional level – preferably in the NFL.
Most hail from schools outside the traditional Power 5, and even from the FCS level. However, their heart and determination to reach the NFL, or any professional football league, is larger and greater than most recognizable NFL prospects looking to make their dream a reality.
Today, DeShawnte Lloyd is up, a defensive tackle from New Mexico State.
Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for DeShawnte Lloyd. So bucking the odds to fulfill a dream of playing in the NFL is just part of the journey.
Lloyd might not be on the big boards of many NFL teams at the moment, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an intriguing pro prospect. Though, his senior season at New Mexico State could have gone easier.
It started out great for the 6-foot-1, 300-plus-pounder, who recorded 31 tackles, 4 1/2 for loss, and two sacks in the first five games of the 2018 season. That included 10 assists in the opener versus Wyoming and a sack and two TFLs against a Utah State squad that won 11 games last season.
However, during that strong start, Lloyd suffered a slight tear in his meniscus and after five games his season was finished because of the knee. Though disappointed, Lloyd wasn’t done – physically or mentally.
“It was kind of frustrating because I was doing well,” said the Baltimore native, who achieved one goal of playing Division I football after taking the junior college route. “Then, I knew the road was going to be longer.
“It was just another obstacle, but I knew God has a plan for me.”
The bounce is back
Lloyd hopes that plan includes a stint in the NFL, or any level of pro football, for that matter. With the CFL, and now the Alliance of American Football and even the return of the XFL, the options for a pro future other than the NFL are available to guys like Lloyd.
Currently working out with some of his fellow New Mexico State teammates in Atlanta and waiting to strut his stuff at the school’s pro day next month, Lloyd is trying to make a name for himself. By word of mouth, speaking to scouts and showing off his skills anyway he can.
He claims to be fully recovered from the injury and recorded at tackle at last month’s Tropical Bowl all-star showcase in Florida. At the moment, Lloyd’s days are filled working on his skills, conditioning, lifting weights and working his body and mind into being in the best shape possible to make his dream of playing pro football come true.
No matter how big the obstacle that stands in his way.
“Definitely. I know for sure,” Lloyd said of signing with a pro team. “I’m pretty confident.”