Unbeknownst to the all but for a small niche are those forgotten college football graduates, hard working men who tirelessly fight to realize their dreams of one day walking onto an NFL football field. While hope fades after after failing to hear their names called on draft day, the disappointment is soon overcome by the promise that hard work and perseverance will indeed pay off in the end.
[Cue mood-setting music]
(Video thanks to FrozenNature)
For whatever reason, we quickly forget that the NFL draft is not the only road taken for prospects aspiring to make an NFL roster. In fact, there are many examples of undrafted prospects not only making the team, but occupying starting roles for those franchises. Take the well documented history of Kurt Warner. On his journey to the top, he went to a small college (Northern Iowa), then moved on to the Arena Football League after not getting drafted. While he did that, Warner stocked groceries to make ends meet.
Rather than succumb to despair, Kurt continued to pursue his dream, displaying an uncommon resolve and focus. Finally, such focus paid off, as he was rewarded for his efforts by becoming the 3rd string quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. He eventually went on to have an illustrious career as the starting quarterback for the Rams, winning a Super Bowl and stamping his name in the record books as one of the most efficient and prolific passers the game has ever seen. This man , by his courage and iron will proved that dreams can come true to those with faith.
Undoubtedly, the success of men like Kurt Warner have inspired countless others to continue putting forth blood, sweat, and tears into trying to achieve what few others believe they can do. As a matter of fact, there are two such gentlemen who are undertaking this task even as I write this article. Their names are Donterrious Porter and Matt Mosley
Mr. Porter is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Porter displays the effort and block-shedding to effectively play the run, and and through the air he shows a knack for breaking up passes. Take a moment to view some of his clips from youtube.
Out West, our other spotlight player, CB Matt Mosley hails from Central Washington. Before suiting up for the Wildcats, Mosley appeared in 20 games in three seasons playing for the Washington Huskies. At Central, he spent two years there, but missed nearly the entirety of 2010 due to a season ending injury. Provided here are clips from Mosley’s career.
The tales of these two young men and others like them are stories of dreams too strong to die, of unforeseen paths. The common path to the NFL is the draft. But there is also another road…an underground road to the NFL…the road less traveled. Summed up more eloquently than I possibly could…Robert Frost’s famous poem:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
This article is dedicated to those who dream with the grandeur of a child. God-willing, may those hopes become a reality through dedication.