Eagles UDFA CB Jamalcolm “Jay” Liggins should not be slept on
30 April 2019 Eagles News
I spoke with CB Jamalcolm “Jay” Liggins from Dickinson State University this past Sunday. Liggins was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles after the draft. In this interview, I asked Liggins to talk about his incredible school record four-interception game, how he believes he can fit with the Eagles, and more. Below is the full interview written in Q&A format.
Congratulations, Jay, first of all. How are you feeling right now?
I feel good. I’m happy to be part of the family. Joining the Eagles was huge. A lot of tradition there, good program. And with Carson (Wentz) being there too there’s local love so that will be nice. But yeah I’m ready to go to work. I’m excited to get up there, get my cleats on and really get it going.
You mentioned Carson. Was he kind of like a local hero for North Dakota?
Yeah definitely a big hometown guy. People had mad love for him at NDSU. It was a big deal for everyone.
What expectations did you have going into the draft?
I felt like I had the capability of playing at the next level. My agents and trainers really believed in me and trained me to get my game right. From there I went to my Pro Day, did decent there. After that it was just a waiting game, hoping for the best.
Describe the phone call you got after the draft.
I actually got the call 10 minutes before the draft ended. My agent started negotiating things with teams right around then. The Eagles reached out then the 49ers called and then towards the end the Rams started getting involved. From there, my agent discussed things with them and tried to find the best fit for me. The rest is history. I decided to go with the Eagles in the end.
How do you feel about choosing the Eagles over the other teams?
I feel like it was a good one. I was honored to be contacted by all the teams and have the option to pick the team I wanted to go to. In the end I figured the Eagles would be the best decision for me. They really like my size for corner so I feel like I could really contribute there. Also the team has great history, great fan support.
After looking at your stats and metrics, can you confirm to me your size? Because you have a big frame as a corner.
I’m 6’2” and weigh about 212 right now. I’m in pretty good shape.
Can’t say the same about that but…(both laughing)
Summer is coming around. Got to get that right.
Of course. Of course. But yeah you have a tall frame for a cornerback and that’s what you’ve played throughout your whole career?
Yes sir. I played wideout as well. I just played it if the team needed to score.
You never were a different position though and changed to cornerback?
Nope. Always cornerback. I played both ways starting junior year when they asked me to play wideout for a bit.
Did you prefer playing wideout over cornerback?
Not really I like playing cornerback and taking guys out of the game. Like just dominating that side of the ball and shutting people down. Of course its fun to score touchdowns and it helped that my coach had trust in me to get the job done. I didn’t have to experience the tough parts of a wide receiver, just the fun, easy parts.
Do you have a favorite game from your college career?
Northwestern. I had 4 interceptions in one game. It’s a school record right now and also a playoff record.
What were your thoughts throughout that entire game? Because it must’ve been crazy.
The first [pick] felt really good early in the game. I try not to get too high or too low so after that…you’re not going to win just by getting one pick. I got the second one later and then after the third…I’d never done that before. That was a big deal for me. At that point the game wasn’t even over. It was a really close game against a very talented team. We ended up winning 14-6 so it was a close game and we were in it the entire time. No matter how many picks I had at any point I was just trying to do my best to win the game. The fourth pick I got sealed the game. When I got that one I was feeling great and couldn’t believe what we did. It was our first playoff win.
Do you have an NFL self-comparison?
As far as my build and my aggressiveness, I would say I would like to be compared to Xavier Rhodes because he’s a bigger corner.
Does anyone inspire you specifically to play the game?
Michael Vick was definitely an inspiration growing up. I lived in Atlanta for a bit so I looked at him for a while as an inspiration. For corner specific, I would say Prime Time Deion Sanders. Any guy growing up playing cornerback wanted to be him. He made an impact every game. And he found himself in the end zone as well.
Now that you’ve gotten the phone call and are headed to Philly, you could possibly be the first player from Dickinson State to play in the NFL. What would it mean to you and the university to play in the NFL?
It would mean a lot. It would really give us some recognition. The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes) is so small I feel like it doesn’t get the respect it deserves at times. It would open up some doors, get some people to see us put in the work. It would give guys more looks and opportunities. Because that’s all it takes—the right window, the right moment.
Moving away from football for a second, do you have any hobbies or past-times outside of the sport?
I’m usually busy since I was a track athlete before as well. In my free time I just relax, play video games. If anyone wants to come find me and get beat in NBA 2K.. that’s just the kind of guy I am.
Someone play this guy. I’d love to see it. Do you think the life of an athlete is more time-consuming that some people suggest?
I would definitely say it’s different. I’ve got a lot of people supporting for me, though. I’ve only been home for one week total back in Dickinson since January 6th. I’ve been on the road now for a while and now moving to Philly—its a sacrifice for your time, but also a blessing. A lot ups and downs, but that happens to any one who has a job.
What is one thing you would like to tell people coming in to the Eagles organization?
I’m an easy going guy but I’m a hard worker. I like to be the hardest worker in the room and on the field.