Los Angeles Rams sign SUNY Cortland standout J.J. Laap of Long Island


After helping lead SUNY Cortland to the school’s first-ever Division III national football championship in the fall, standout wide receiver J.J. Laap is now headed to the NFL.

Laap, a Ward Melville grad from Stony Brook, has signed a deal with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent, according to Cortland athletics. He’ll be checking in at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.

Laap was one of Cortland quarterback Zac Boyes’ favorite targets en route to the school’s big title win over North Central (Illinois) in December.

According to SUNY Cortland Athletics, Laap started all 11 games last season, leading the team with 41 receptions for a team-high 907 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged a team-best 22.1 yards per reception. In a 2023 win over Wittenberg University (Ohio), he caught nine passes for a school-record 312 yards and two touchdowns, including one for 90 yards.

Laap was also a runner-up for Hansen Award as best player in Suffolk County in high school.

Fellow Cortland wide receiver Cole Burgess of Greenwich, N.Y., signed with the Cincinatti Bengals, the school also reported on X.

Cortland’s remarkable year was highlighted locally by the number of Long Island players it fielded, which totaled 37. On both sides of the ball, the SUNY school featured top Long Island performers from the likes of Sayville, Comsewogue, Plainedge, Ward Melville, Westhampton Beach, Lindenhurst and Patchogue.

In all, more than 30 local high schools were represented on the Red Dragons roster.

Top photo: Cortland wide receiver No. 5 JJ Laap, a graduate of Ward Melville High School, helps the official indicate a first down for the Red Dragons during the team’s 49-14 NCAA DIII tournament semifinal win over Randolph-Macon.
(Source: Facebook/SUNY Cortland via @edlphotography)

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