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Bills rookies get 'legit scared' at Rookie Club event at Frightworld

Tre’Davious White dropped his hips, swiveled and darted toward the corner.

But the Bills rookie wasn’t running through a drill in practice. He was evading a teenage ghoul with an imitation chainsaw.

White was startled several times Tuesday night while accompanying students from two Buffalo Public Schools around Frightworld in Tonawanda during a Bills Toyota Rookie Club event.

“I was real legit scared,” White said. “I don’t like the suddenness of it, how they just pop out and do it. … I don’t like the dark too much. I sleep with a lamp on.”

Players led the children through the haunted mazes even though they may have been just as frightened.

“It did not work out like that,” Dion Dawkins said. “Just, straight off the top, it was scary. The kids were like, ‘you go first,’ but I said, ‘you’ve got the flashlight, you go first.’ ”

“The kids, they got more heart than the players,” White said. “We were jumping more than they were.”

Bills rookie Conor McDermott dressed as "Jason" to try and scare his teammates. (Courtesy of Buffalo Bills)

Helping to try and scare the players was the Bills’ biggest rookie, 6-foot-8 Conor McDermott, who dressed in a “Jason” mask and hid inside the attractions.

“I definitely got Tre’ on the ground,” McDermott said. “I got him good.”

It was much easier to put White on his back in the haunted house than on the practice field, McDermott said.

Conor McDermott, dressed as "Jason," startled Bills rookie teammate Tre'Davious White. (Courtesy of Buffalo Bills)

Even McDermott, however, was wary of “Tiny,” the 6-10, 480-pound clown who floored White when he jumped at the 5-11, 192-pound cornerback outside of the attraction.

“It’s so much fun to be able to scare these big NFL players,” the deep-voiced clown said.

Bills rookie Conor McDermott faces his fear of clowns with "Tiny" at Frightworld. (Courtesy of Buffalo Bills)

Quarterback Nathan Peterman suggested the Bills bring “Tiny” in for a workout.

“That’s a big dude,” he said. “Maybe we need to see if we can sign him up.”

“Tiny is definitely not tiny,” said the 6-4, 314-pound Dawkins. “Tiny is massive.”

As jumpy as the current rookies got at times, none of them reacted quite like Shaq Lawson did last year.

The monthly rookie club events allow players to interact with and learn more about the Western New York area. The goal is to inspire players to get more involved as their careers progress, said Preston Teague, director of community relations.

“It’s a special something that I definitely enjoy and don’t take for granted,” Peterman said. “I was one of those kids a long time ago and it’s fun to interact with them.”

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