From Saint Francis to San Francisco: Lorenzo Jerome Signs With NFL Team
Saint Francis University star Lorenzo Jerome has been signed to the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. Lorenzo is set to become the first Red Flash player to play in the NFL since Joe Restic (Philadelphia Eagles) in 1952.
“We have an agreement on a three-year deal,” Lorenzo told the Tribune Democrat. He is headed to San Francisco this week to meet with coaches and finalize the deal.
During the NFL draft, Lorenzo and his SFU family were on pins and needles.
Coach Chris Villarreal tried to provide some perspective.
“I was able to talk to him to him and keep him calm,” he told the Tribune Democrat. “ ‘Roll with it. Don’t get too high. Don’t get too low. All you can hope for is an opportunity. Once you get the opportunity, go out and make the most of it.’ It’s an emotional roller coaster.”
Almost immediately after the draft ended, NFL analysts predicted Lorenzo would be picked up quickly.
ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked him the best UDFA on the market. Despite Lorenzo’s size, McShay believes Lorenzo “is a better football player than athlete.” McShay said a strong Senior Bowl eased concerns about his college competition.
As predicted, Lorenzo got the call from the 49ers soon after the draft ended. His family had traveled from Florida to celebrate the big moment.
“There was screaming and popping the champagne bottles,” Lorenzo said.
It is especially fitting that Lorenzo will be moving from Saint Francis to San Francisco. The small university in Loretto, PA and the major city are both named for St. Francis of Assisi, a saint who encouraged his followers to divest themselves from materialism and opulence, and to help the poor and less fortunate.
The Criminal Justice major humbly recounted his decorated Red Flash career in an essay entitled Who is Saint Francis? Beyond his many accomplishments, Lorenzo made clear that playing football for a small school wasn’t a deterrent, rather, an asset to his success.
“We play physical football here, and I wanted to show no matter where you play, you can make it.”
While many have congratulated Lorenzo on social media, his response to one fan sums him up as a player and a person.
“It’s a blessing. Thank you.”