JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jimmie Stoudemire has had a whirlwind of a college career.
It took him from his hometown in Alabama all the way to California before landing here in Jacksonville as a graduate student at Edward Waters University. Stoudemire hopes that his next destination is professional football.
“I’ve been around the world,” said the 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver.
Coming out of high school, Stoudemire was rated as a three-star prospect and signed with Auburn before transferring to a pair of junior colleges. In 2018, he was pegged as one of the top JUCO receivers in the nation by 247 Sports and Rivals. Stoudemire chose to attend Arkansas.
With the Razorbacks, Stoudemire suffered an injury that they believed would end his football career.
“I didn’t know what my next step was really,” he said.
After finishing his degree at Arkansas, Stoudemire was on the move again. He landed at Edward Waters University as a graduate transfer where he is finishing his master’s degree.
“My master’s will be one of my biggest accomplishments. If nothing else works out being the first one on my side of the family to get a degree is big time for me.”
EWU fans won’t recognize Stoudemire’s name from making plays on the football field because he didn’t play a single down this season for the Tigers.
“It was depressing for real. I wanted to play so bad,” Stoudemire said.
Eligibility issues sidelined Stoudemire for his final season of college football but he never stopped working. Stoudemire showed enough on the practice field for the EWU coaches to lobby for him to have a spot in the HBCU Pigskin Showdown and Stoudemire showed what he could do in front of NFL scouts.
“They were surprised I was still even trying,” he said. “I told them straight up, ‘I don’t even know how I’m here.’ And they said, ‘well, we see why you are here.’”
The performance at that all-star game put him on the pro football radar. He has now interviewed with several NFL teams including Tampa Bay, Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville and a few CFL teams.
Stoudemire knows that hearing his name called in this week’s NFL draft is a long shot but just hopes he will get a chance with someone.
“If I get an opportunity to get my foot in the door, I’m going to soak in everything I can,” he said. “It would be a dream come true.”