Still in the Game by Devon Still

Still in the Game by Devon Still

Author:Devon Still
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: 2018-11-13T16:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER TEN

THE DRAFT

I had dreamed of making it to the NFL Draft since I was in high school. In my mind, I’d heard the voice of the announcer calling my name. I’d pictured myself walking across that stage and shaking hands with the commissioner.

Now? It wasn’t a dream. I was there. I’d done the work to get there. I’d overcome injuries and persevered through an unimaginable scandal. I’d made it. I was in New York City ready to find out where my future would take me, ready to make my NFL fantasy come true, ready to give my all to whichever team wanted me.

The energy of the event in New York that day was insane. It was more powerful than I ever could have imagined. All of the top players from all of the big schools were corralled backstage in the green room, standing by with their agents and coaches and parents, all waiting for our futures to be decided, waiting for our big moment. These were my peers now. This is where I belonged.

I stood there surrounded by the best of the best young football players in the whole country. And I watched as one by one, thirty-two of their names got called—and mine didn’t. Thirty-two of my peers each made a spot onto one of the thirty-two NFL teams in the first round. But not me.

I had never experienced what it felt like to be the kid in gym class who didn’t get picked for a team. In fact, I’d mostly been the guy the gym teacher picked to do the picking. I’d grown used to being a leader. The team captain, even. And I thought I’d proven beyond a shadow of doubt that I belonged in that role during my time at Penn State. But as day one of the NFL Draft came to a close and I stood there with the remaining handful of players who didn’t get picked that day, I felt like a loser.

I knew in my heart it wasn’t my fault. Even the fact that I had ongoing injuries and missed the Senior Bowl, that was all part of the fallout from the stress and pressure that the Sandusky scandal added to my final season. But I could not understand why. Why? Why did this happen to me? How could this possibly be the result of all the hard work I’d put in, all the injuries I’d overcome, and the sacrifices I’d made by stepping into a leadership role under some of the most trying circumstances imaginable?

My agent spent the whole afternoon on the phone trying to get some answers, and another well-respected agent told my dad that I probably wouldn’t get picked in the second round either. People were saying I might be bumped down to a third- or fourth-round pick!

I was back in my hotel room, lying on the bed trying to make sense of it all when my dad gave me that news, and I rolled over and threw a pillow across the room.



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