Randall Jette, a graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and 2010 Vineyard football captain, has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Jette, who went unselected during the recent NFL draft, nevertheless impressed pro scouts with his performance at several “showcase” tryouts for undrafted seniors.
After excelling as a wide receiver on Coach Don Herman’s 2008 Mayflower League championship team, Jette was converted to quarterback for his junior and senior years. The fact that he was also a standout cornerback and kickoff returner on the team — meaning that he rarely left the field — is an indication of Jette’s versatility and team-oriented mentality.
“Randall is a great player and natural leader,” Coach Herman told The Times in a phone conversation Monday. “He has what I call the three A’s: athleticism, attitude, and appreciation. He’s an outstanding natural athlete, one of the best I’ve seen at the high school. He’s also a humble person who supports his teammates and is always there for others.”
After graduation, Jette attended UMass Amherst, where he studied public health and enjoyed a successful career as a cornerback, receiving several awards for his play and earning a second-team all-conference selection. As a junior, he was third in the nation with 18 pass deflections. Jette finished his college career with 210 career tackles, nine interceptions, 43 pass deflections, and four fumble recoveries.
Jette has recently trained at the Parabolic Performance Training center in Howell, N.J., concentrating on strength and technique. He wants to give himself every advantage to succeed in the NFL. According to NFL analyst Aaron Wilson, the 5-foot, 11-inch Jette, has the necessary height but, at 191 pounds, he needs to add a few pounds. “I eat a lot, and it’s a healthy diet,” he said. “I’m confident in my energy and how I’m preparing. I can’t go wrong with the guys I’m working with at Parabolic.”
According to the NFL, in 2015 over 50 undrafted free agents survived training camp and made it to onto NFL rosters. That statistic is not all Randall Jette has going for him. For one thing, he believes in himself — and that he’s not alone. In a recent tweet, he said, “God is good all the time. Let’s get to work.”
And others believe as well, including Coach Herman. “In Randall’s last Nantucket game, in 2010, we were clinging to a slim lead in the fourth quarter, but we were banged up on offense. We needed Randall to take control of the game. He drove us downfield almost by himself, and scored the touchdown that clinched the game. He rose to the occasion bigtime. That’s who he is.”
For Randall Jette, much of the uncertainty is over. The Green Bay Packers saw enough to take a closer look. Jette’s army of friends and family remain confident that he’ll be wearing green and gold this fall when the Packers open the season in September against the Jacksonville Jaguars.