Rams & Raiders Joint Practices Will Also Serve as College Reunions

Jordan Fuller Damon Arnette

Getty Jordan Fuller (left) and Damon Arnette combine to tackle Darrell Stewart of Michigan State during their 2019 season at Ohio State. Both Buckeyes will be on the same field again this week, this time as a Ram and Raider during two joint practices between both teams.

The Los Angeles Rams and the Las Vegas Raiders will have much more than two joint practice sessions and a Saturday preseason game this week. There will be a college reunion for players on both sides at Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.

Not only are both teams taking part in dual practices near Cal Lutheran starting Wednesday morning, but for some of the individual matchups, it’ll spark a rematch in collegiate practice meetings at Alabama, Clemson and South Carolina.

Who is reconnecting and going against who? Here’s a look:

Palmetto State Reunion

When the Raiders have the football during 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 sessions, there will be a Gamecocks and Tigers reconnection:

Bryan Edwards and Ernest Jones: The Raiders drafted the wide receiver Edwards out of South Carolina in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. Ironically, the Rams got his linebacker teammate from college in that same round for the subsequent draft.

Both were last teammates in 2019 – when Edwards caught 71 passes for 816 yards and scored six touchdowns. Jones went on to tally 97 tackles in that same season including 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Jones and Edwards were also on the same Gamecocks roster in 2018, which was Jones’ freshman year. Edwards had his career-best season in yardage (846) and touchdowns (seven) that season.

Tremayne Anchrum and Clelin Ferrell: Anchrum and Ferrell experienced Death Valley – the Clemson version.

The offensive tackle Anchrum and defensive end Ferrell were teammates for three seasons from 2016 to 2018. Both went on to win two national titles over Alabama. But before putting the championship rings on their fingers, both men had plenty of encounters at Clemson practices, as noted by Dabo Swinney to Sports Illustrated’s Clemson Fan Nation in April 2020.

“Tremayne Anchrum was a very underrated guy in this draft,” Dabo Swinney said. “He has been a four-year starter out of position and has played against the best of the best, from Chase Young to Clelin Ferrell and everybody in between. He’s incredibly smart, very athletic, strong, and has a great football I.Q.”

While the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Ferrell went No. 4 overall to the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-2, 314-pound Anchrum fell to the seventh round of the 2020 draft.

According to Pro Football Focus, Anchrum had 56 offensive snaps in the 13-6 preseason loss to the L.A. Chargers. He pass blocked on 36 plays and was given a PFF grade of 70.3 overall.

Meanwhile, Ferrell saw limited action in the Raiders’ 20-7 Saturday win at Allegiant Stadium over the Seattle Seahawks, as he was in on 13 defensive plays including 12 in pass rushing situations, per PFF. Ferrell finished with two quarterback hurries and one QB hit.

Another note: Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow were also Clemson teammates with Anchrum.

The Alabama Encounter

The Raiders have five players representing the University of Alabama, while the Rams have two. But two men will have a Tuscaloosa reunion during the week:

A’Shawn Robinson and Kenyan Drake: Both are not only six-year NFL veterans, but both were Crimson Tide teammates for three seasons.

The 6-foot-4, 330-pound Robinson was at ‘Bama from 2013 to 2015 with the running back Drake. Of Drake’s 18 career touchdowns with the Crimson Tide, Drake scored 13 during the time Robinson anchored the Tide defensive line. On the opposite side of the field, Robinson built his resume as a stout run stuffer, including posting 22 career tackles for a loss.

Other collegiate reunions include:

Jordan Fuller and Damon Arnette: Both were in the Ohio State secondary from 2016 to 2019 and are now in their second season in the NFL.

Paris Ford and D.J. Turner: The Pittsburgh Panthers entered the league as undrafted free agents. But the safety and wide receiver, respectively, will likely have battles this week.

Raymond Calais and Trey Ragas: While the Ram Calais arrived to Louisiana a year earlier in 2016, he shared the backfield with Ragas from 2017 to 2019. But 2018 saw what the thunder and lightning duo could do in the Sun Belt, with the 5-foot-10, 230-pound Ragas and 5-foot-8, 188-pound Calais combining for 1,935 rushing yards. Calais then finished with more yards (886) than Ragas (820) the following season.

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