ALAMEDA – They were teammates on American Canyon High School football teams for two years. They each played on Pac-12 teams, experiencing the excitement and high-level competition that surrounds major college football. They each finished their college careers by transferring out to different schools.
On Thursday, about 40 miles from Wolf Den Stadium in south Napa County, where they starred in high school, Jomon Dotson and Chris Seisay were at the Oakland Raiders’ facility, on the practice field, for the organization’s local Pro Day.
There were positional drills, as coaches led the players in the afternoon workout. Head coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock were both on hand, observing the players in offensive and defensive work.
“To see a former teammate out there again, it brings back fond memories, how it used to be,” said Dotson, a cornerback, who played last year at the University of Nevada as a graduate transfer. “We are still close. We all still have that bond.”
“It’s a feeling of accomplishment, just to see how far we have come, from the city of American Canyon, and the goals we set back in high school, when we were teammates,” said Seisay, a cornerback, who played his final season at Portland State in 2017, as a transfer. “To see each other now, having gone through college and everything … we’re on a professional football field and being able to work out for these coaches. It just shows that whatever you put your mind to, it can happen, as long as you believe.”
Dotson and Seisay are looking for another shot, an opportunity to take it one step further in the game, to play in the NFL.
The Raiders’ local Pro Day was for prospects who either grew up or attended college within a 50-mile radius, according to www.raiders.com. There were players from Stanford, Cal, UC Davis, San Jose State, Fresno State, USC, BYU, Tennessee, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Arizona State who took part. Hometowns for the local prospects include not only American Canyon, but Orinda, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Oakland, Pittsburg, Alameda, Hercules, Antioch, East Palo Alto, Sacramento, Hayward, Petaluma, Moraga, Concord, Vallejo, San Ramon and Novato.
Dotson and Seisay each accepted the Raiders’ invitation for Pro Day. Dotson wore No. 38 and Seisay No. 41.
The NFL Draft is April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I just want to make the best of it if I do get that shot,” said Dotson. “I’m just very fortunate, to just even be out here at the Oakland Raiders facility and having the opportunity to meet these coaches.”
“I just want to take advantage of every opportunity I have, to go out and be in front of coaches to showcase my talents,” said Seisay. “It’s a game I love. I want to keep playing for sure. It’s been a while since I have actually gotten to put on the pads and play. I’m just ready for an opportunity because I know that football could be over any time.”
The heights and weights of the players were taken. Dotson is 5-foot-11, 184 pounds. Seisay is 6-2, 190.
Dotson attended Nevada’s Pro Day last month at Mackay Stadium in Reno. That workout included Raiders' officials. Dotson did not work out at Pro Day for the Raiders based on the advice of the agency that represents him, Yee & Dubin Sports of Los Angeles.
“Hopefully, one of these teams can see my abilities that I have shown over these past years and just my athleticism that I have been showing and they can take that into account, where I have proven myself, to give me that shot,” said Dotson. “I can go out there and make something happen.”
The Raiders have had their summer training camp at Redwood Middle School in Napa for the last 23 years. The team stays at the adjacent Napa Valley Marriott.
A closer look at Dotson and Seisay:
With scouts from NFL teams looking on, Dotson took part in Nevada’s Pro Day, despite coming down with the flu the day before.
“I proved myself during (Nevada’s) Pro Day,” he said. “My stats are out there. Everything that I did is pretty much out there. There is film that they can see.”
Dotson played his senior season for the Wolf Pack as a graduate transfer in 2018, as he left the University of Washington following his junior season. He is pursuing a master’s in justice management, with an emphasis in law enforcement.
Dotson had a solid season for Nevada, starting all 13 games and helping the Wolf Pack (8-5 overall) to a second-place finish in the West Division of the Mountain West Conference.
For the season, he was third on the defense with 75 total tackles, including 63 solo stops. He broke up six passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
“Jomon is one of the most athletic guys that I’ve been around my whole life,” said Seisay. “I know that as long as he gets the opportunity, he can go as far as he wants to.”
Dotson, a 2014 graduate of American Canyon High and the Player of the Year on the Napa Valley Register’s 2013 All-Napa County team, received the Defensive Newcomer of the Year award at Nevada’s team banquet. Dotson also earned Academic All-Mountain West honors.
“It’s a dream come true if I do get drafted. It’s a dream come true if I do get to be able to play for one of these teams. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Dotson, who graduated from Washington with a degree in sociology.
Seisay, a 2013 graduate of American Canyon High, has not played in a year following surgery on his left knee. He had agreed to terms on a three-year contract as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Green Bay Packers after the 2018 Draft.
He cannot be selected in this year’s Draft as he is a year removed from college.
“I had surgery right after rookie mini-camp last year when I was coming out for the Packers,” he said. “It was a light tissue injury.
“I recovered fully and I’m back in the football mode and working harder than I have. I’m just ready to go again and play football. It’s been a long time since I’ve played an actual football game and been in a football environment.”
Seisay was not able to land a spot with the Packers due to his injury. He can be signed as a free agent.
He left the University of Oregon after three years in the program and transferred to Portland State in 2016. He played two years for Portland State.
“I’m fully confident in my abilities,” he said. “I just want a team to believe in me and believe in my abilities as much as I do, and to just give me a chance to go out there on the field and perform.
“All you can do is control what you can control and take advantage of your opportunities and to make sure you’re prepared. And that’s all I’ve been doing.”
He started games for Oregon against Florida State in the Rose Bowl and against Ohio State in the national championship game during the 2014 season.
He had 55 tackles, six passes defensed and an interception in 18 career games for Oregon.
During the 2016 season, he had 28 total tackles, two tackles for loss, intercepted two passes and broke up eight passes for Portland State.
During the 2017 season, he had 24 total tackles, intercepted two passes and broke up five passes.
Seisay graduated from Portland State with a degree in social science.
He did positional work and drills on the practice field at Raiders’ local Pro Day.
“He was great out there,” said Dotson. “He just attacked the drills. He looks fresh out there. He looks like he’s ready to go.”
So now, Dotson is waiting to be drafted, and Seisay is waiting to be a free agent.