Former Wando and Coastal Carolina star Jamie Childers signs free agent contract with St. Louis Rams

Jamie Childers was a quarterback at Wando High School before converting to tight end at Coastal Carolina. Staff/File

The Sun News Despite catching just 30 passes in his college career at Coastal Carolina, former Wando High School football star Jamie Childers has signed a three-year contract as a rookie free agent with the St. Louis Rams.

Joel Turner, who co-represents Childers with his brother, Justin, said he could not comment on terms of the deal.

“I’m excited to get out there to St. Louis and work hard every day,” Childers said. “I’ll try to make an impression on these coaches every rep, every practice, every meeting.”

Childers was recruited to Coastal as a quarterback out of Wando High and Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy and started three games as a sophomore.

The coaches at Coastal wanted to get his talents on the field more as a junior, so they converted him to tight end and he caught 19 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown in 2010.

Despite missing part of his senior season with an injury, he caught 11 passes for 233 yards for an impressive 21.2 yards-per-catch average and scored three touchdowns in 2011. In the season’s penultimate game at Charleston Southern, he had four receptions for 92 yards and two scores.

Turner said the Seattle Seahawks were impressed with the tape of that game and wanted to see more. “There is no more,” Turner told them.

“We told [Childers] from the beginning it was going to be a completely different situation for him than maybe anybody else in the nation,” Turner said. “He’s so freakishly gifted athletically but he had so few games on the field to show for his ability because of the position change and injury.

“Nobody was concerned about his injury because his workout numbers blew them away. But because he didn’t have many game reps they were afraid to take up a roster spot with him.”

Childers participated in pro day workouts at both CCU and Wofford, and said he recorded a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash and 36-inch vertical leap, and bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times. Childers said he has bulked up to 250 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame.

“This has been the first offseason I’ve been able to focus on tight end and getting bigger and stronger and faster, and not having to do any quarterback stuff,” Childers said. “It’s been good to focus on just one position.”

The Rams feature quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft out of Oklahoma.