Want­ing to be home­town hero

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND -

for me.”

From play­ing on Plan­ta­tion High School foot­ball team un­der long­time coach Steven Davis from 2011-14 to four sea­sons at South Carolina un­der Will Muschamp, Lam­mons joined the Dol­phins prac­tice squad on Nov. 28, 2018 af­ter stints with the At­lanta Fal­cons and New Or­leans Saints.

In the past year, he has de­vel­oped, impressed Flores and his new coach­ing staff, and made the Dol­phins ini­tial 53-man ros­ter at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son.

And he’s still stand­ing.

“He re­ally did a good job from OTAs to train­ing camp to most of this sea­son,” Flores said of Lam­mons.

“This is a kid who has worked hard, made the most out of his op­por­tu­ni­ties. Not per­fect. He had the in­ter­cep­tion last week, which was good for him and a big play for us. He also had two penal­ties. So, we have to cor­rect the mis­takes and ob­vi­ously high­light the suc­cesses.

“But he’s done a good job, and hope­fully he con­tin­ues to play well and con­trib­ute.”

Lam­mons may play in lim­ited ac­tion, but he has ap­peared in all 12 games, play­ing some on de­fense and mostly on spe­cial teams.

His in­ter­cep­tion was the val­i­da­tion he needed to see his hard work pay­ing off.

Lam­mons has seen his fair share of strug­gles on the field, in­clud­ing Pitts­burgh Steel­ers re­ceiver Juju Smith-Schus­ter snatch­ing what could have been an in­ter­cep­tion for a touch­down dur­ing game on “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” ear­lier this sea­son.

Lam­mons has also seen his first-year de­fen­sive back team­mates such as Jo­mal Wiltz, Nik Need­ham, Steven Parker and Ryan Lewis all get their first ca­reer in­ter­cep­tions dur­ing the sea­son.

His high­light play was a long time coming. More im­por­tant for Lam­mons, how­ever, was the fact his game-end­ing play helped the Dol­phins come back from a 28-14 deficit to beat the Ea­gles 37-31 last week.

“It was very ex­cit­ing, be­cause over­all the whole team worked hard coming back — offense, de­fense and spe­cial teams,” Lam­mons said. “Ev­ery­one just worked ex­tremely hard, and just to end right there it was re­lief for me and the whole team.”

Lam­mons cel­e­brated his in­ter­cep­tion with Aikens, Cobert, Need­ham, Wiltz, safety Mon­tre Hartage and Dol­phins mas­cot T.D. in the end zone at the end of last week’s game.

Lam­mons kept the foot­ball, too, with plans to put it in a dis­play case in his apart­ment.

When­ever Lam­mons takes a mo­ment to re­flect, he will think about his jour­ney and how his par­ents never left him along the way.

“They’d be very proud of me right now. I know they’re looking down on me and smil­ing,” Lam­mons said. “I never get low on my­self or any­thing be­cause I know they’d be proud of me.”

BRYNN ANDERSON/AP

Miami de­fen­sive back Chris Lam­mons poses for a photo with his sis­ter Char­ity Far­ley, left, and other mem­bers of his fam­ily at the end the Dol­phins’ vic­tory against the Ea­gles 37-31 last Sun­day.

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