Former Kentucky Wesleyan College football star Keelan Cole made his National Football League debut on Thursday night, helping the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots 31-24 in a preseason game.
Midway through the second quarter, Cole hauled in the first pass he saw, burning the Patriots’ defender and Alabama product Cyrus Jones by a solid 10-yards. The catch was good for a 97-yard touchdown from Chad Henne, giving the Jaguars a 10-3 lead in the first half.
The play caught the attention of the NFL Twitter world with Keelan Cole trending in the US. According to the Sporting News, the 97-yard play was the longest touchdown reception by an undrafted free agent until Damore’ea Stringfellow with the Miami Dolphins caught a 99-yard touchdown pass less than an hour later.
Cole caught one more pass in the third quarter, this time good for 11-yards. The Louisville, Ky. native also contributed on special teams, tabbing one tackle on a punt return.
On April 29, Cole graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan with a degree in Fitness and Sports Management. Just hours after receiving his diploma, Cole signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars. Cole participated in Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and Rookie minicamp throughout the summer, and now has the chance to make their roster as a rookie.
During his senior season with the Panthers, Cole earned a trio of All-American honors, being named to D2football.com All-American First Team, Associated Press Little All-American First Team and Don Hansen All-American First Team.
Cole led the nation in kickoffs returned for a touchdown with two while ranking second in all-purpose yards at
98.1-yards per game. He brought home the G-MAC Offensive Player of the Year Award as well as the G-MAC Special Teams Player of the Year award after accumulating 15 receiving touchdowns, a mark good for seventh in the nation.
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