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Former BW Yellow Jacket Anthony Kendall ’22 signs with the NFL

Kendall's eye-popping numbers at NFL Pro Days fueled the improbable leap from a Division III football team to a contract with the Tennessee Titans.

Anthony Kendall '22

After posting standout pro day performances, Baldwin Wallace University All-American defensive back Anthony Kendall '22 garnered tryout invitations from two NFL teams: the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

But before he could set foot on either field, Kendall signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent and reported to the team's rookie camp over the weekend.

Monumental jump

An article on explained how rare it is for a DIII football player to make the jump to the NFL. "If you come from the Ohio Athletic Conference, which is in Division III, you've got to have some type of fierce play to be noticed. And for the 6-feet-flat and 180-pound prospect, he's been noted for his athleticism and ability to create chaos."

Kendall put up pro day stats that commanded the attention of a number of teams: a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump, 20 bench press reps and an 11-foot broad jump.

Now, he is just the second BW football player to sign with an NFL team, joining Keith Darbut '11, who was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks in 2011.

Finishing career at BW

Anthony Kendall '22

As BW Head Coach Jim Hilvert told Sports E-cyclopedia, Kendall declined the chance to transfer for his senior season to put himself in a better position to be seen by NFL scouts.

"He had the opportunity to make his mark at BW," Hilvert told Sports E-cyclopedia. "He wanted to finish what he started. That choice showed his high character."

In his final season wearing the brown and gold, the December 2022 grad racked up 56 tackles and three interceptions, broke up 12 passes and recorded a sack in BW's 7-3 finish.

"[Baldwin Wallace] was a very cool experience," Kendall told Sports E-cyclopedia. "I'd say I learned a lot through the coaches, through the players, through the school. It was a change of pace, a change of culture. I learned a lot as a person, I improved my leadership skills, I got my degree, and all-around as person, I feel that that college in general helped add to my resume."

Work hard, believe, never quit

Anthony Kendall '22

Hilvert expressed pride in Kendall as the Port Ritchey, Florida, native agreed to terms with the Titans last week. "Anthony showed that his perseverance at BW gave him an opportunity to reach his dream of playing in the NFL. What a great story for a great player, student-athlete, and young man."

While the competition for a final NFL roster spot is fierce, earning the respect of multiple NFL teams and signing a paid free-agent contract are big steps toward Kendall's lifelong dream and a testament to his athleticism and competitive spirit.

As Kendall has said, "Believe in yourself. No matter where you go, if you can play football, the NFL will come and find you. Never give up, and when you handle any time of adversity, stay faithful, work hard and never quit."

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