As Connor Jessop stepped on the Redskins’ practice field Sunday, he was still a little flustered. Just 24 hours earlier, he was celebrating the birthday of his friend's daughter when he received a call with an area code from Ashburn, Va., where he calls home. Soon, a different kind of celebration took place.
This week, Jessop is playing football in Loudoun County as a member of the Redskins, but many years earlier he was already a household name in town, due to a successful career at Broad Run High School, where he led the team to a Virginia AA Division 4 Championship during his sophomore season in 2011.
Following his days at Broad Run, Jessop time spent at Virginia Tech as a walk-on, Shepherd University as a starter, where he earned All-MEC and MEC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2017, and then Redskins rookie minicamp earlier this summer. Now, even as a pro, he has the benefit of remaining at home, living the same way he did as a teenager.
“I'm still with my parents,” said Jessop. “It could be worse, I'll tell you what, it could be worse."
Check out these photos of the Redskins' preparing for their Preseason Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
Though he may not have his own place, Jessop is still enjoying the experience of living out his NFL dream so close to home.
"Oh man, it's incredible,” said Jessop. “I mean, you take a left out of the facility, drive two miles, three miles, take a right and I'm home. So, it's nice being able to stay in my own bed and eat some home cooked meals if necessary."
The home-cooking experience might be a good time for the undrafted rookie quarterback, but he also understands the situation he was brought into.
Signed after quarterback Colt McCoy sustained a hand injury, Jessop’s time with the Redskins may not be a long one. With the final preseason game coming up this Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens, his only focus right now is this week of practice in case his number is called.
"I mean, I can't really control what they decide to do with me,” said Jessop. “I'm just going to come out here over the next three or four days and if that's all I have, then so be it, but I'm going to give 110 percent for those three or four days."
His time spent at rookie minicamp gives him a small learning curve, but with the starters on the field and an extended playbook to learn, this time around is a little different. Not to mention, he has a very short amount of time to get accustomed to the fast-pace NFL practices.
“I did that for many tests back in college, but this is a little bit different,” Jessop joked when talking about cramming to learn the playbook. “It's just practicing, saying the words over and over and the formations and things like that. So it's not like it's a whole different type of football, I just have to translate what I knew to this new language, and then from there I should be good."
Much like when he’d have to cram for an exam back during his time in school, Jessop knows he’ll need to find a place with less distractions.
"I can promise you I won't be going home to study. I can tell you that much,” he said. “I'll probably have to go to some local coffee shop, something like that. It's always what I've done to really get work done."