Wainwright still hoping for NFL opportunity

  • Waiting game: NFL hopeful Keith Wainwright Jr

Keith Wainwright Jr remains optimistic about his chances of being recruited by an NFL team after participating in the Fall Showcase in Miami, Florida, last weekend.

The 26-year-old Bermudian was among of 180 players invited to take part in the three-day event at the Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.

“The experience was amazing; I met a lot of coaches and players,” Wainwright said. “The Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Canadian Football League teams were there.”

The showcase is part of the Spring League, an elite development league and scouting event, which provides an additional opportunity for players to be evaluated.

All participating teams train and play games in one central location, allowing NFL scouts, general managers to look at players in one setting. Players are also evaluated by the CFL and other professional leagues.

“I did pretty good, made some plays even got an interception,” Wainwright said. “All I can do now is wait.”

The 6ft 245lb linebacker impressed while playing in the Rivals Professional Football League last season with the Miami Blaze, who are owned by Quentin Hines, the former New England Patriots running back.

Wainwright was his team’s leading tackler and helped them reach the championship game, losing 30-24 to the Atlantic Sharks. The son of former Southampton Rangers cricketer Keith Wainwright had hoped to have trials at Denver Broncos last summer but he broke his foot playing basketball.

Wainwright became passionate about American football after moving to the United States with his mother in 1999. He played college football at Alabama A&M University from 2011 to 2014. He works as a systems safety engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and had a stint at Lockheed Martin after earning a master’s degree in engineering at Alabama A&M.

“I love what I do and Nasa is a great company,” Wainwright said. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to play in the NFL.”