A small school NFL prospect named Antonio Gandy-Golden (also known as AGG) was not highly recruited by big schools such as Alabama University or Clemson University. He had to go to a small school, Liberty University, to attract attention from the National Football League (NFL) which is the highest pro-level football league. This prospect proved that you can go pro from a small school if you are good enough. The NFL can come find you.
Golden is from a small town named in the south called Dallas, Georgia. He played at Paulding County High School. As a junior in high school, AGG was named player of the year. He received for over 800 yards and five touchdowns. His senior year, he received over a thousand yards and five touchdowns. Golden was a two-star prospect coming out of high school, and decided to go to Liberty University. The school was a Football Championship Subdivision school (abbreviated as FCS). Liberty University was a FCS school from his freshman to junior year. By his senior year, they were NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision known as D1. As a freshman in college, he received 315 yards and three touchdowns. By his sophomore year, he earned over a thousand receiving yards and ten touchdowns. He would go on to repeat those numbers during his junior year and the same went for his senior year.
The Liberty football program’s star player, AGG, led them to an 8-5 record as they won their first bowl game against Georgia Southern. According to the NFL, he is a “very intriguing height-weight-speed prospect who showed noticeable improvements in a number of important areas in 2019. While his hands were superior in ’19, it’s possible that focus drops could return with bigger, better players beating on his routes from snap to whistle. When he does catch it, he has an innate ability to add yardage after the catch with his size and agility. Gandy-Golden’s route-running is still a work in progress, but his build-up speed, length, and ball skills could allow him to develop into a dangerous third-level threat on the next level.”
Every player has a weakness. AGG’s weakness seems to be route running and separation. In the article “2020 NFL Draft: Don’t sleep on Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden,” the authors evaluated the young man. They said, “With average speed and a limited route tree, there are times when he struggles to get open – and that’s a definite concern as he approaches the next level.” In the NFL everyone’s skill levels are at the highest in the world. The NFL is really good at exposing weaknesses. NFL retired veteran Jamie Martin said, “The main difference is just simply that everyone’s better. It’s not necessarily that they are bigger or stronger — some are, but they are just good at what they do. They all understand their jobs and they’re smart and they execute everything well no matter what position they play.” Everyone is good in the NFL and you do it for a living. Every week there is always someone trying to take your job away. One of the reasons that they draft is to keep the competition highly competitive. One of the ways the NFL separates prospect is the Senior Bowl.
The Senior Bowl is for NFL teams to receive the chance to witness some of the best prospects in the country practice and display their athletic abilities. Then at the end of the week, they play a scrimmage against each other. Gandy-Golden was at the Senior Bowl and rose up to the challenge. Many NFL scouts were surprised when he did not get picked in the first round. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Redskins.