RICHMOND — Jimmy Moreland seems to have fans wherever he goes.
The Washington Redskins rookie cornerback has made some of the splashiest plays of training camp, including a number of highlight-reel interceptions.
“[Number] 25, that kid is looking special,” star cornerback Josh Norman said.
Moreland, who played at James Madison University, has a number of Dukes fans cheering him on in Richmond as well.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “There’s a lot of fans from this area that go to JMU, and fans that cheer for JMU. Just hearing those fans on the sidelines is a great feeling for me.”
Moreland has a long way to go before hitting the field in a regular-season game, but more and more people are recognizing his talent.
“He’s done a good job. He’s playing outside and inside. The versatility is huge for the nickel cornerback position,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.
Gruden said Moreland also will get an opportunity to return punts, though the favorite for that job is receiver Trey Quinn.
Moreland is adapting to the pro level and has seen distinct differences from the college game.
“It’s professional now,” he said. “Every day you have to come in and compete.”
Moreland played four seasons at JMU, where he set the school record for interceptions in a career, with 18, including five as a senior.
His success with the Dukes led to him being selected by the Redskins in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Moreland played in all but one game in his freshman year, but was dismissed from the team after the season because of off-the-field issues.
He returned for the 2016 season with a second chance thanks to new coach Mike Houston and helped lead the team to a national championship.
Moreland continued to excel the next two years and finished his college career with 208 tackles.
“He was well-coached [at JMU],” Gruden said. “Plays with great ball skills, we’ve mentioned that before and seen it already. He’s just got to continue to work and get better — and he is.”