Oxnard, CA – Two thousand four hundred and fifty-eight miles – the distance Temarrick Hemingway traveled from Orangeburg, SC to reach the Rams rookie training camp in Oxnard, CA. Hemingway, a 6-5, 245 pound tight end, the 177th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft from South Carolina State University (SCSU) stepped onto the Rams practice field filled with wide-eyed excitement and pride at being a member of the newly minted Los Angeles Rams. Hemingway says he is “ready and willing to work hard for his opportunity of a lifetime.” When asked about his thoughts as he took the field, Hemingway didn’t hesitate to say “my great-grandma.” “I spent a lot of time with my great-grandma and she always told me that if I worked hard for what I wanted, I could obtain what I really wanted in life. I wish she was here to see this.”
Temarrick follows in the very large footsteps of NFL Hall of Famer, Pro-bowler, the late David “Deacon” Jones, a former SCSU Bulldog (1957-58), taken in the 14th round of the 1961 draft. Jones would go on to become a member of Rams Fearsome Foursome (1961-71). It’s been 19 years since the Bulldogs have had two players selected in the same draft. Hemingway joins his Bulldog teammates defensive lineman Javon Hargrave (89th overall pick by the Pittsburg Steelers) and defensive back Antonio Hamilton who signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Temarrick was born in Loris, SC but raised 19 miles away in North Myrtle Beach where shag dancing still reigns supreme. He said he always knew he would “play something.” “Growing up, I played football and basketball but football was my thing,” Hemingway said. He considers former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson his role model not only because he holds 15 NFL records but because “he carries himself well, he’s respected on and off the field and I admire that.” “Calvin works hard and I have that same type of work ethic.”
Described as a “tight end that can block,” Hemingway knows he has his work cut out for him. At South Carolina State University, he finished his career with 93 catches for 1,056 yards, earning first-team ALL-MEAC honors in 2015 as the Bulldogs’ second-leading receiver, 38 receptions for 418 yards, and one touchdown. “The terminology is a lot different and the speed of the pro game is so fast but it’s coming along quite well.” “I love the professional game and all the resources you have to better your game. I’m really going to take advantage of that,” Hemingway said. He joins Tyler Hibee, tight end from Western Kentucky forming one of the youngest tight end corps in the NFL.
Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough, in his 14th season as head coach at SCSU had this to say about Hemingway, “Temarrick is a diamond in the rough. He has great hands and he’s special. He’s extremely bright and his best days are ahead of him.” “Temarrick has overcome some pretty tough surroundings and I think the Rams will be pleasantly surprised by his discipline and great work ethic,” Pough said.
South Carolina State University is no stranger to the NFL, as three of its former players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Marion Motley in 1968, Deacon Jones in 1970, and Harry Carson in 2006. Coach Pough has four players currently on NFL rosters: Joe Thomas (Greenbay Packers), Raphael Bush (New Orleans Saints), Phillip Adams (Atlanta Falcons), and Marshall McFadden (Oakland Raiders).
Hemingway is hopeful that his South Carolina family will get to see him play this season at the Coliseum and he wants them to have the opportunity to visit and see the sights of Los Angeles. “It’s hard not knowing a lot of people here. I cried when the Rams drafted me and I’m just so grateful for the chance they are giving me. I’m looking forward to getting to know the people and the area.” When asked whom he would like to meet and have dinner with, Hemingway chose Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather, and President Barack Obama. Well…Temarrick this is Hollywood…land of dreams and some dreams do come true!