Ryquell Armstead made his mother happy Saturday.
The Millville High School and Temple University standout running back was selected by Jacksonville in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
The Jaguars just happen to be Tara Armstead’s favorite team.
“She’s always liked the Jaguars for some reason,” Ryquell Armstead told jaguars.com in a conference call Saturday. “Being in New Jersey, we really don’t have a favorite team in Millville. Most people are Eagles fans, but she’s a Jaguars fan.”
Jacksonville selected the 5-foot-11, 220-pounder with the 140th overall pick. Armstead became the first local running back to be drafted since Atlantic City native and Holy Spirit High School graduate William Green was chosen in the first round by Cleveland in 2002.
“I was just grateful for whatever team drafted me and will give me the opportunity to live out my dreams,” Armstead said.
Armstead rushed for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns on 210 carries for Temple last season, then impressed NFL scouts and coaches with a solid performance at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine during the offseason. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at the Combine, second-fastest among all running backs.
He is also considered a reliable receiver and even recorded a sack against Tulsa last season while serving as an edge rusher.
Armstead’s blend of power and speed could come in handy for the Jaguars, who were looking for a running back to develop behind starter Leonard Fournette.
“I’m looking forward to just coming there and picking Leonard Fournette’s brain about everything,” Armstead said. “He’s a guy I’ve been following since high school. He runs so angry, so violent, and that’s something I take pride in.”
Armstead will be the eighth local player on a current NFL roster, joining Chicago defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson (Absegami), Tampa Bay quarterback Joe Callahan (Holy Spirit), Atlanta defensive lineman Jack Crawford (St. Augustine Prep), Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Jamil Demby (Vineland) Miami tight end Mike Gesicki (Southern Regional), Cincinnati long snapper Clark Harris (Southern) and Tennessee defensive tackle Austin Johnson (St. Augustine Prep).
Another local running back, Wildwood High School grad Wes Hills, was also hoping to be drafted Saturday.
He is now eligible to be signed as an undrafted free agent by any team.