Keith Wainwright Jr spies way into NFL via fan-controlled league
Keith Wainwright Jr is set to showcase his talents in the new Fan Controlled Football League in the United States.
The Bermudian linebacker made the cut during a league trial in Birmingham, Alabama, at the weekend.
“I was invited to the tryout and got signed to Fan Control Football,” Wainwright told The Royal Gazette. “I am very excited and the coach [John Jenkins] stated that I was the best defender. He was highly impressed.”
The 29-year-old had his work cut out against stiff competition for the available spots and was equal to the task.
“The workout consisted of the broad jump to measure distance, 5-10-5 to measure quickness and the 40-yard dash,” he added. “We also did position drills and then one-on-one, so all the linebackers went against running backs and tight ends, and I pretty much I did good.
“The pressure was on as there were players from the Seahawks, Oklahoma, University of Tennessee, Albany State and several other colleges with all different backgrounds.
“But I was very confident having lost weight and increased my IQ and quickness. My rate of getting in is high and the player personnel coach said I did very good and was highly impressed.”
Fan Controlled Football League consists of fast-paced 7-on-7 football played on a 50-yard field with two 20-minute halves with the fans making every decision from roster to play-calling.
There are no kick-offs, punts or goalposts with teams starting on their own ten-yard line and trying to drive 40 yards downfield for a score.
A battle between a wider receiver and defensive back will take place in place of a field goal for the extra point. Fans will choose either a one-point conversion from the five-yard line or a two-point conversion from the ten-yard line.
The league boasts four teams — Glacier Boyz, Zappers, Beasts and Wild Aces — with NFL stars Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Austin Ekeler, rapper Quavo, Major League Baseball’s Trevor May and NBA 2K’s Ronnie Singh among the respective owners.
Having made the cut, Wainwright has been placed in a pool of players anxiously waiting to be chosen by a team.
“You go into a pool of players for now and don’t get picked for a team until next year,” he explained. “The camp is in January and the season starts in February.
“Teams are expanding. There will be four new teams this year and owners include players like Dalvin Cook, Marshawn Lynch and Tom Brady.
“This is something I wanted to do and a step towards being great and being in the NFL as 15 guys signed to the NFL last year.”