Former Derry footballer signs with the New York Giants

A former Derry underage footballer has signed with the NFL’s New York Giants as an undrafted free agent.

Jude McAtamney has spent the previous two years playing for Rutgers University in New Jersey having first moved to America in 2021.

McAtamney won an Ulster U-20 title with his county back in 2018 and was his team’s free-kick taker. He is the latest GAA prospect to join the NFL after Down goalkeeper Charlie Smyth signed a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints recently.

The NFL draft took place in Detroit last weekend with all 32 teams picking the next generation of players.

McAtamney held a pre-draft visit with both the Giants and the Jets but did not declare for the weekend’s NFL draft – the annual selection process for college players – instead opting to go through the free agency process.

As the starting kicker for the Scarlet Knights in 2022, McAtamney had a 67 per cent success rate, making 12 field goals from 18 attempts.

He was successful with 23 of his 24 attempted extra points that year. In 2023, McAtamney lost his job as Rutgers’ starting kicker but nonetheless, progressed to an NFL training camp.

He will now be battling it out for a starting spot as the New York Giants’ kicker as training camp starts this summer.


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