By Max Moorman
Sports Capital Journalism Program
INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond may not be considered one of the leading prospects in the National Football League Scouting Combine, but he is clearly attracting a lot of attention.
Lauletta comes out of Richmond as the program’s all-time passing leader with 10,422 passing yards, the fourth Colonial Athletic Association player to exceed 10,000. Those numbers alone should impress coaches and scouts. Richmond is a Football Championship Subdivision school and Lauletta did not play in a Power Five conference. But that doesn’t put him off.
During the media interview at the combine on Friday, Lauletta pointed out that he played against Power Five teams. He mentioned Richmond’s victory over the University of Virginia in 2016. Lauletta threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns in that game.
Lauletta mentioned that he plays his best games in the brightest moments. He loves when the spotlight is on him. “I don’t shy away from the big stage, and I kind of embrace the moment,” he said. “That is when I am at my best.”
He showed that at the Senior Bowl in Mobile where he was named Most Valuable Player after competing against quarterback prospects including highly-rated Josh Allen of Wyoming and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma.
“I went into the Senior Bowl to just make the most of my opportunity, and I think I did that,” Lauletta said.
Lauletta threw for almost 198 yards and 3 touchdowns in about one quarter of play.
“I feel like every year since I’ve been playing, I’ve improved as a player, regardless of the system that I played in,” he said. At Richmond, Lauletta played in a pro-style system that employed more of a spread offense during his senior year.
Lauletta was also asked about his four different offensive coordinators during his time at Richmond. Lauletta called it “a blessing in disguise for me, no doubt.” He sees that as a positive thing, and that it will help him with his transition to the league.
During his rise in the rankings, Lauletta has been compared to Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers, who played at Eastern Illinois, another FCS program. Lauletta has also been linked to the Patriots, the team that traded Garoppolo to San Francisco, because of similarities to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Lauletta was a lacrosse player earlier in his career. Belichick has been a fan of lacrosse and has even gone as far as giving his Patriot players positions on the lacrosse field.
Lauletta is also a leader on the field. He was elected team captain two years in a row and has a bachelor’s degree in Leadership Studies. He thinks that it is important for quarterbacks to lead on and off the field. Lauletta co-founded the Pass It On Program. The program donates new and gently-used sports equipment to the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. He is also a volunteer at the Special Olympics.
Lauletta is the latest product of a football family. His father, Joe Lauletta, played for the Naval Academy in the 1980s, where his uncle, Lex Lauletta, also played. His grandfather also played football and basketball at Delaware.
When asked about the possibility of playing behind Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Lauletta said, “That would be a dream come true.”