The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester has agreed to terms with nose tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin for the 2019 season. Lampkin was most recently in camp with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent. This will be his first taste of arena football.
“I used to watch it TV,” he said. It’s very intense. The players are very passionate. You’re not going to play arena football if you really don’t want to play football. If you want to play football you are going to find every way possible and this another possibility. There are a lot of people out there working hard trying to get back to the league and get a roster spot.” he added.
Lampkin says Pirates President Jawad Yatim reached out to him to put plans in motion for him to get back to 100 percent from injuries before attempting a comeback in the NFL.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of injuries, that’s why I’m not currently on an NFL roster right now. I need to build my brand back up and use this as a gateway back to the league,” Lampkin said.
Yatim hopes that Lampkin can help the Pirates while pursuing his dream.
"In my opinion, Du'Vonta is the prime example of the type of player that would play in the NAL and later be acquired by an NFL organization. He's very young, only 21 years old, played at the University of Oklahoma last season and if it wasn't for some slight knee issues he could very well be in the NFL now. Currently we are focusing on taking him through the necessary steps to get him back to feeling a 100%. His raw size, power and ability is something you can't overlook. He flashed greatness at Oklahoma, and we are going to work on making sure he consistently proves himself every play, so that his dream can be a reality again. Arena football is constantly littered with man to man situations, whether it’s in coverage or at the line of scrimmage, we feel Du'Vonta can exploit that. Something we lacked last year was a consistent disruptive presence from the interior of our defensive line. That's something we wanted to emphasize this off-season and we feel with Du'Vonta and some of our other acquisitions that particular issue will be corrected. I am a firm believer that the game is won at the line of scrimmage and I’m confident we have addressed that situation. We are excited to have Du'Vonta in the blue and teal. He's a great addition to our organization," Yatim said.
After redshirting in 2015, Lampkin played in five games with the Sooners in 2016. Oklahoma won the Big 12 Championship as the 6’4,” 340 lb. defender had five tackles, two for a loss and two quarterback hurries. The Sooners went on to defeat Auburn 35-19 in the Sugar Bowl and finished with an 11-2 record.
As a redshirt sophomore, Lampkin played in 12 of Oklahoma's 14 games in 2017 recording 23 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. The Sooners claimed the Big 12 championship and were the second seed in the college football playoff. Their season ended with an overtime loss in the Rose Bowl to Georgia. At season’s end Lampkin declared himself eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft.
The teams in the National Arena League are in great markets which will increase Lampkin’s visibility.
“I’m a hype man when I get on the field. I want to be noticed. I want everyone to know who I am. That’s why I play defensive line. I’m very passionate about my position and I want to go out there and dominate,” he said.
Now, in a pass happy league, Lampkin says he can make his name by getting in a QB’s face.
“I feel like in this league you’ve got to be the sack master. It’s a lot of one on one. There’s three defensive linemen against three offensive linemen. It’s one on one. It’s all I ever asked for in college and I never got it. I was always double teamed and triple teamed, but one on one every time; give it to me, I’m ready. I can work on my craft and work on my technique when it comes to pass rushing.”
Now he just has to get used to the weather in Worcester.
“It’s already getting cold. I don’t think I packed appropriately for this weather. I’m from Houston where it’s hot and humid. I’ve got to get me some winter clothes real fast.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $199.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Tim Parker at 508-452-MASS (6277) or email email@example.com. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.