ST. LOUIS – Signing the son of actor Denzel Washington on Monday ensured the St. Louis Rams of making a splash the day after the NFL draft ended.
John David Washington, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back was among 10 undrafted players signed by the Rams. He played for Division II Morehouse College last year.
"This is all a good story," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "I hope he's a good running back."
Washington had a school-record 1,198 yards with a 5.6-yard average and nine touchdowns, and added 10 receptions for 69 yards is senior year. He also ended his career as the school's single-game (242 yards) and career (3,699) leading rusher.
Washington led the conference in rushing last season, and was named national player of the week by D2Football.com last season.
Linehan said he didn't know about Washington's famous father until after the Rams became interested in him. Coincidentally, Linehan's brother-in-law, actor Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, just finished a movie with Denzel Washington that is scheduled to come out in about a year.
Linehan joked that Denzel Washington and Caviezel might make a nice little "sideshow" at training camp.
"I hate to tell Jim, but I think most of them will be looking for Denzel's autograph," Linehan said. "But they should start with Jesus first."
Another unusual addition was Connecticut basketball player Ed Nelson, a 6-8 forward who hasn't played football since his freshman year of high school, as a tight end. Nelson played 29 games as a reserve at UConn after transferring from Georgia Tech, averaging three points and three rebounds.
"The rage now is to bring into the league these power forwards (at tight end)," Linehan said. "This one's going to be interesting.
"You'd like him to be a blocking tight end that maybe can be a receiver."
The Rams also signed kicker Josh Cummings of Pittsburgh, centers Mike Degory of Florida and Donovan Raiola of Wisconsin, tight end Jonathan Williams of New Hampshire, running back Antoine Bagwell of California (Pa.), defensive end Kory Lothe of Eastern Illinois, defensive tackle Tim Sandidge of Virginia Tech and wide receiver Clinton Solomon of Iowa.