While players like KaVontae Turpin and Brandon Aubrey come to mind when thinking of USFL players having successful transitions to the NFL, an NAIA product from California has been making his way as the next success story in the NFL. Recently Jeremiah Pharms has become a consistent “cog” in the Patriots front Seven, going from Arena Ball to the NFL.
Pharms is already in his fourth year of professional football but the California Native has already moved around plenty since coming out of High School almost Ten years ago. With stops at Sacramento City College, and San Joaquin Delta College before finding his way to an NAIA college in Kansas called Friends University despite becoming one of the NAIA’s most consistent and efficient players, Pharms’ NFL opportunities were limited with even professional football being in jeopardy.
When an opportunity came to join the CIF’s Wichita Force, Pharms used the opportunity as an internship in an effort to earn a shot at the big league. While arena ball didn’t pay the bills Pharms continued to work side jobs at Walmart and Substitute teaching in an effort to make his NFL dreams come to a reality. After a workout with the College Gridiron Showcase Pharms began to receive more interest but was still lacking an NFL contract.
Eventually while it wasn’t the NFL, Pharms found a place in the USFL with the Pittsburgh Maulers recording two sacks along with 32 tackles putting the former college Linebacker in unfamiliar territory as the NAIA product earned a workout with the Patriots. Pharms would make the most of his opportunity eventually earning a contract with New England and spending 2022 on their Practice Squad earning $207,000 and a futures deal for 2023.
Much of 2023 was the same for Pharms, grinding through OTAs, and Training Camp earning a spot-on New England’s practice squad. While Pharms wouldn’t be earning “big money”, he’d be once again in the 1% of earners with a PS salary close to a quarter of a million dollars. It wasn’t until September 30th Pharms would get elevated for the first game making his NFL debut on October 1st.
Pharms would spend the next Three weeks wondering if that was it? NFL roster manipulation is extremely common with teams alternating and elevating players before having to make the final decision of signing the player to the Active roster or not. On November 4th Pharms finally got the call he’s been waiting for getting signed to the Patriots roster and has since been a key piece in the Defensive Line.
So far in addition to a large bonus, Pharms has appeared in 9 games and registered 6 tackles (3 during week 15). As the 2023 season roles on Pharms continues to audition for a more permanent role in New England’s future plans. Regardless Pharms should take great pride in his current success a JUCO LB from California now playing in Bill Belichek’s defense.