Joanna Rowell | Staff Writer
The Hampton Pirates football team has done a great job at making a name of themselves within the MEAC rankings, and the program has breeded their fair share of excellence. Several current professional football players with the NFL, who got their start at “Our Home By The Sea” are making waves in the league
Kendall Langford, Justin Durant, Chris Baker and Kenrick Ellis all received a great foundation playing for the Hampton Pirates. Hampton University football coaches do their best to see talent and work with their players in a way that allows them to grow and come into their talents.
Starting Washing Redskins’ nose tackle Chris Baker played his senior year at Hampton University after transferring from Penn State. He did not start out as one of the Redskins’ key players when the undrafted prospect was signed by the team in 2011, as Baker admitted in a 2014 interview.
“Each year they gave me more and more playing time until the point where they just threw me out and let me do what I do,” he said to Redskins reporter Stephen Czarda. With Baker’s hard work and the assistance from his Hampton coaches, he developed and, in his one year at Hampton, he held team bests for tackles and sacks.
Justin Durant set Hampton and MEAC history by being the first player to win three Defensive Player of the Year Awards. His accomplishments and talents brought him to where he is today as an outside linebacker playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Durant’s fellow Pirate and former teammate, Kendall Langford, has also made it to the NFL ranks and is currently playing as a defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts.
In an interview with the Daily Press, before his last college football game, Langford said, “I don’t think there’s anything like the coaches you meet and the friends you make.”
Those same coaches and friends were there for him through all four seasons of his college career and prepared him to become a Black College All-American and two-time ALL-MEAC selection.
The Hampton University football team is an exemplary organization that works to make players into professionals. These three pros are also joined by Hampton alum and recent New York Giants signee Kenrick Ellis. After transferring from the University of South Carolina, he played in 32 games and started in 27 of them. He set the Hampton University record for the most tackles by a defensive linemen with 94.
Hampton University has sent multiple players to the NFL and they will most likely be seeing other Hampton Pirates represent their university as football favorites in the coming years.