The Massachusetts Pirates have signed wide receiver John Diarse for the 2020 season. A former LSU Tiger, Diarse also played two seasons as a graduate transfer at TCU and later signed contracts in the National Football League, the Canadian Football League and the Alliance of American Football.
“Jawad (Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim) was checking me out since my time in Denver. He reached out and told me the type of organization that he runs, how everything goes, and he invited me in for the week,” Diarse said before signing his contract this week.
A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Diarse was a standout quarterback and safety at Neville High School and was named Mr. Louisiana Football his senior year. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He enrolled at LSU and in his first season wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry showed him the ropes. He says the current Cleveland Browns duo taught him how to play with physicality.
“It comes down to physicality every week. You have a giant that you have to knock down some way. That’s every position too. There is no major height difference or size difference. It’s either come out there and be physical or somebody’s going to toss you off the field one way or another. It was a good experience just being around those two guys. They are also from Louisiana, so it was almost like family the way that we just hung out and talked. I’m closer to Jarvis than Odell. He just really infused a spark in me to catch everything and fight for anything that you can put your hands on, get there and make a play. That’s the only thing that matters in the moment is making the play,” he said.
After redshirting in 2013, Diarse played two seasons and had 28 receptions for 412 yards and three touchdowns. He graduated in three years with a degree in sports administration and then transferred as a graduate student to TCU. There he started 21 games in two seasons totaling 68 receptions for 1,017 yards and six touchdowns. As a senior, he helped the Horned Frogs to the school’s first-ever berth in the Big 12 Championship Game and a win in the 2017 Alamo Bowl over Stanford. He graduated with a master's degree in 2017.
The 6”-1’ 195 lb. wideout went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft but he had his NFL moment in 2018 appearing in three preseason games with Denver. He totaled 4 receptions for 68 yards playing in three Broncos' preseason games but was released during final cuts.
“I was picked up by the Denver Broncos. Did rookie and minicamp, which was fun. I also came back did training camp. I went through all four preseason games, made it down to the final cut. It came down to me and another guy who was there the previous year. I think I did pretty well to make it to the last cut. It was a pretty good experience,” Diarse said.
Diarse says his time in Denver drove home the reality of the National Football League.
“It’s business first and personal second. You could be in one place for five, six or seven seasons, then when a business deal comes around, it has to be talked about. People make certain decisions and certain choices to make the situation better on their end, but once you understand it’s a business, you just have to go in and do your job. It makes it easier,” he said.
After Denver, Diarse was on the practice squad with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League and then the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football last season.
This will be his first taste of arena football and Diarse says he has heard all about “The Wall” that awaits every receiver.
“That seems to be the one thing that everybody says you have to get over; you have to get over that wall. If you get over the wall then it turns into regular football,” he said with a laugh. I want to come in and play hard, fast and physical and whatever comes after that it’s no big deal to me. Honestly, it’s just another opportunity to play ball. Just come in and help this team win a championship. They definitely have what it takes to play for a championship,” he added.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.