When he first started playing football five years ago, kicker Long Ding in his wildest dreams probably never guessed he’d have a chance to make an NFL team. But here he is: An undrafted invitee to Jaguars rookie minicamp.
Ding, 24, came to the United States in 2007 as part of the International Federation of American Football/USA Football International Student Program and started playing for a New Hampshire high school. Eventually he ended up as the kicker for D-III Norwich University in Vermont, where he nailed every kick inside of 40 yards during his senior year.
When the Jaguars came calling, Ding, who hails from Quig Doa, China, needed to look at a map.
“I had no idea where Jacksonville was,” he said, according to The Florida Times-Union. “I didn’t even know it was in Florida.”
After watching Ding show off his leg on Friday, Jags special teams coach John Bonamego was impressed with what he saw.
“I think the kid legitimately has some talent,” Bonamego said. “He is a guy you pull f...