Montrealer Ben St. Juste – A NFL football journey

Ben St. Juste

When an aspiring pro athlete goes on the long, difficult road to playing with a professional team in any sport, there is a maxim that defines that journey: “many are called, few are chosen”.
In the case of 23-year-old Ben St. Juste, he defied the odds on the road to becoming a pro football player. He was called and chosen.

Ben St. Juste
Ben St. Juste – Photo credit: Washington Football Team

St. Juste, who played football in high school, participated in the prestigious Pop Warner program, played for Cegep du Vieux Montreal, the University of Michigan Wolverines and the University of Minnesota Gophers, was chosen in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team.

But what made him want to play at every level of football? St. Juste credits that to his father, who played football for the University of Miami Hurricanes.

Ben St. Juste
Ben St. Juste – Photo credit: Washington Football Team

“My dad was a two-way athlete who excelled in basketball and football. I liked trying every single sport around, but my dad sat me down and said I should pick a primary sport. I asked him which one I should choose and he suggested football, because that was not a common route to take,” said the Montreal North native during a recent interview on Zoom.

St. Juste, who plays cornerback, is thrilled to be drafted by Washington, which is one of the oldest franchises in the NFL (and has been around the league for nearly 90 years). “It feels amazing, but not just for me, but how it impacts my hometown, and can inspire future young Montreal football players to see one of their own get drafted by the NFL, and how it can open more doors for them,” he said. “The Washington Football Team has a great history, being one of the first NFL teams and with three Super Bowl championships to their name. Although there is going to be a lot of pressure to meet Washington’s standards every year, I think being part of this team is a great fit for me.”

But unlike drafted baseball and hockey players — who get the chance to obtain some playing experiences under their belts through the minor leagues and the farm system — drafted NFL players don’t have that luxury of a midpoint between getting drafted and playing in the majors.
“There’s not a big transition between college football and the NFL,” admits Ste. Juste. “It’s like you’re being thrown into the fire, and you always have to be prepared.”

Ste. Juste will start to get his bearings in the world of NFL football very soon. He begins training camp with Washington starting July 27 at the University of Virginia in Richmond, which includes a series of pre-season games that begins with a matchup against the New England Patriots on August 12. Their 2021 season officially begins on September 12 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

As he prepares for his inaugural season as an NFL player, Ste. Juste is aware of the challenges that are associated with being a pro football player, as opposed to being a college player. 
“When you’re a college player, you have other things to worry about, such as attending classes and school work,” he said. “However, being a player in the NFL is a job. You always have to be ready, to be sharp, to be on point and to take the game very seriously, because you realize that next year, there will be a new group of players who are ready to take your job. But don’t get me wrong; being an NFL player has its share of fun, too.”

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

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