Devon Cajuste is headed to the NFL. The Seaford native signed with the San Francisco 49ers on April 30.
After standout high school and college careers, which included three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances with Stanford University, Cajuste went unselected in the recent NFL draft, but within minutes had offers to sign as a free agent. He chose the 49ers so he could stay close to his college.
“It’s super exciting,” said Cajuste (pronounced ka-JOOST), who primarily plays receiver. “I’m just more anxious than anything. I’m blessed that I get this opportunity.”
Cajuste, 23, got his start playing football with the Seaford-based Long Island Broncos, before continuing his youth career with the Valley Stream Green Hornets. He also played football at Seaford Middle School.
He was a three-year varsity starter for Holy Cross High School in Flushing, Queens, from which he graduated in 2011. Cajuste was All-Queens Player of the Year and All-City Player of the Year from 2009 to 2011. He also played varsity basketball and ran track.
His former coach, Tom Pugh, remembers Cajuste as a dominating player who also excelled in the classroom.
“He’s just a tremendous athlete,” Pugh said. “I’m extremely happy for him. The 49ers and Stanford are pretty close by, so he’s staying in the area. He’s going to have an opportunity to show himself.”
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound Cajuste is hoping to crack the 49ers’ 53-man roster, which would give him the chance to play for new head coach Chip Kelly. With San Francisco coming off just a five-win season, Pugh said he believes that Cajuste will have every opportunity to make the roster of a team that is looking for a spark.
He had the chance to showcase his skills at the NFL Scouting Combine, Feb. 23-29 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. There, he and other college players performed for NFL coaches, general managers and scouts. Pugh said that the quickness Cajuste showed during the camp opened a lot of eyes.
“I feel it really made an impression,” Cajuste said, adding that it was his “foot in the door” with the NFL, ultimately leading to his contract with the 49ers.