It doesn’t matter how you get in the league, it’s what you do once you’re in it. There are countless examples of players making an impact on Sundays who were not drafted to start off their NFL career: Texans running back Arian Foster, Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, Raiders wide receiver Josh Cribbs, Giants running back Ryan Grant, Bengals linebacker James Harrison, and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz to name several. But there is also, current free agent Danny “DJ” Ware.
Cody Glenn played college football at the University of Nebraska. He played running back throughout his first three years there, and then switched to linebacker for his senior season. He then entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 5th round by the Washington Redskins. He was cut in the preseason, but the Colts signed him and he remained with the Colts from 2009 to 2011. He played in Super Bowl XLIV mainly on Special Teams. This interview was conducted before he signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
John Conner played college football at the University of Kentucky. He was considered one of the best and most complete fullbacks going into his senior season. He entered the 2010 NFL Draft, and was drafted in the 5th round by the Jets. He was the backup behind Tony Richardson during his rookie season. In 2011, he earned the starting role and is the only fullback on the NY Jets roster. This interview was conducted after the 2010 NFL season.
Lorenzo Neal played college football at Fresno State University. He entered the 1993 NFL Draft and was selected in the 4th round as a running back by the New Orleans Saints. He got injured in his career, so he made the switch to fullback. He was the lead blocker for great running backs like Corey Dillon, Eddie George, and LaDainian Tomlinson. He made the Pro Bowl four times in his career, and was the lead blocker for 11 straight 1,000 yard running backs. Check out our interview.
Matt Suhey played college football at Penn State. He entered the 1980 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 2nd round by the Chicago Bears. He played with the Bears from 1980 through 1989. He was the fullback for Walter Payton, and had a great relationship with fans off the field. He is often regarded as one of the best fullbacks in NFL history. He scored the first TD in Super Bowl XX in which the Bears were victorious. Check out the interview with one of the 1985 Bears. Read more
Thurman Thomas attended Oklahoma State University, and during his time there he accumulated 897 attempts, 4595 yards, and 43 touchdowns. He is the all time leading rusher in OSU history, and he was known for being the only person ever to put Barry Sanders on the bench. He entered the 1988 NFL Draft, and was selected 40th overall by the Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after compiling over 12,000 rushing yards, and over 4,000 receiving yards in his career. Check out our interview. Read more
Anthony Heygood played as a linebacker and on Special Teams for Purdue University. He had a great senior season with 114 tackles. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but actually went undrafted. He signed a undrafted free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers after the draft. He was waived by the Panthers in the 2009 season, but signed with the Seattle Seahawks and was cut right before camp ended. [UPDATE: He was placed on the Seahawks’ Injured Reserve list during the 2010 NFL season.] Read more
Tyrell Sutton played running back for Northwestern University. He earned playing time all four years while he was there. TS entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed a UDFA contract with the Green Bay Packers and during the preseason he played very well, but was still cut by the Green Bay Packers. He then signed with the Carolina Panthers. He returned kicks, ran the ball, and also caught passes out of the backfield. This interview was conducted in the early part of the 2010 NFL season. [UPDATE: He is currently a member of the Seattle Seahawks and fighting for a roster spot.] Read more
Curtis Brinkley played college football for Syracuse University. He was an all star running back for the Orange. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed with the San Diego Chargers, and didn’t end up making the final roster. He then signed with the Chargers’ practice squad. Throughout his rookie season he mixed between the active 53-man roster and practice squad. [UPDATE: He has earned more playing time as he career has gone on. He is still a member of the San Diego Chargers. Read more