BILLINGS — Darneail Jenkins is the latest Rocky Mountain College football player to get an NFL shot.
The Philadelphia Eagles invited the former Rocky tight end to their post-draft rookie minicamp, Jenkins announced Sunday.
"It’s just been a crazy road. It’s surreal right now," Jenkins told 406mtsports.com Saturday night. "I’m still trying to take it all in, but I’m super excited. Coming from a small school, I need to make a name for myself, put Rocky on the map."
Jenkins was hoping he'd be selected in the NFL draft, and some teams told him he might be a late-round pick, he said. He was disappointed his name went uncalled, but he's thankful the Eagles gave him an opportunity.
"If you’re good enough, they’ll find you, and that’s what happened," he said.
Jenkins joins Andre McCullouch among the recent Rocky football players to receive a minicamp invite. McCullouch, a wide receiver, was invited to Washington Redskins camp in 2016. The only former Battlin’ Bear to play in NFL was Chris Horn, a receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2003-05.
Jenkins is confident he can follow in Horn's footsteps.
"I feel like I belong in the NFL," Jenkins said. "I’m gonna bust my butt and try to get my spot. I’m not there to make friends. I’m there to get a job."
Rocky first-year football coach Chris Stutzriem, who is currently in Arizona on a recruiting trip, said Jenkins’ invite will be a nice addition to his recruiting pitch.
“He’s got a lot of talent, he works extremely hard, and nobody’s a better teammate,” Stutzriem told 406mtsports.com. “Even if it doesn’t work out with the Eagles, this opens it up to all of the other teams in the NFL.”
Jenkins compiled 737 yards and 10 touchdowns on 44 receptions during the 2018 season, helping the Battlin’ Bears win the Frontier Conference title and reach the NAIA playoffs. The senior earned second-team all-Frontier honors.
Dickinson State defensive back Jay Liggins reportedly signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent on Sunday.
Wyoming safety Marcus Epps was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round on Saturday.