Seales Looking to Catch Eyes With Big Impact in Worcester
Photo Credit: AP/Sue Ogrocki
When wide receiver Bones Bagaunte jumped ship for Columbus, the Massachusetts Pirates had a big hole to fill.
The Cincinnati alum’s energy on the field along, coupled with his, 6-foot-3 frame in the red zone, combined with his locker room presence made president Jawad Yatim’s job hard to find a replacement.
Enter a 6-foot tall former Chicago Bear and Tampa Bay Buccaneer from Port Arthur, Texas: Jhajuan Seales.
Seales has been on the receiving on of the pigskin since elementary school.
“I started playing football when I was 6,” Seales said. “My dad was my flag football coach.”
Seales continued his football career playing running back, fueled by the support of his parents, siblings, and his closest friends.
“(My father) was one of my biggest supporters, as well as my mom, my brothers and friends,” Seales said. “They always pushed me to do things differently.”
Seales had many role models growing up and modeled his game after certain players. One such player was former Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles, who attended one of the same high schools as Seales at Port Arthur Memorial High School.
It was in high school where he made the switch to wide receiver.
Seales’ transition came easy to him, and it wasn’t long before he felt comfortable split out wide.
“It wasn’t hard at all, it just came very naturally,” Seales said. “Just instead of getting the ball handed to me all the time, I had to just go out and get it.”
Seales committed to Oklahoma State University and hit the ground running. As a freshman, he started every game for the Cowboys, totaling 39 receptions for 571 yards and three scores with a 14.6 yard average per reception.
He continued to be dependable throughout college, averaging 15.9 yards per reception throughout his OSU career and finished with 112 total receptions for 1,589 yards.
Seales set his sights on the NFL and got his first call from the Chicago Bears. He later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reuniting with a former coach from Oklahoma State. Seales, however, experience a setback early in his time with the Buccaneers.
“It was great excitement because at first, I was with the Chicago Bears,” Seales said. “And then I got a call from a former coach I had at OSU Todd Monken, so it was another place where I could go where I knew someone and was ready to get into the action but I ended up getting hurt.”
Seales suffered a torn hamstring, but that didn’t stop his growth as he never forgot the lessons he learned watching and observing how the league worked.
“Just the people there,” Seales said. “How it’s a business, how they move every day in life and that’s literally their job, study, eat, playbook, and film.”
Seales also learned from some of the game’s best past and present when he was in the NFL. Victor Cruz was playing his final year in football with Chicago during Seales’s Bears tenure, then in Tampa Bay learning from Mike Evans and Desean Jackson. The OSU alum however was not intimidated by their accomplishments in the league and took it as a learning experience.
“I wasn’t starstruck at all,” Seales said. “I knew those guys and I just looked into how they practiced and ended up following in their direction to be successful.”
Learning from some of the best the National Football League has had to offer in sometime, Seales describes now what he can bring to the Pirates that will help put the team over the top.
“I think I can bring a lot of speed,” Seales said. “I also feel that I can be a great deep threat for them.”
To Seales, his message to all is that he is not focused on being what Bagaunte was for the team and the fans, but to be the player that he is to do more and give it everything on every snap of the football.
“[I want them to know] that I came, showed up, and I played my hardest because it’s not about my name, it’s about winning a championship with the Pirates.”