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.
Back in the day, the University of Miami students would not take part in the NFL Combine. They would tell scouts to come watch them run drills in their backyard, at their school’s Pro Day. The U had a swagger about them. Today, with Head Coach Al Golden, the University of Miami is continuing to develop and mature football players down in Coral Gables. I attended my first ever Pro Day, and I was excited for the opportunity to talk to future stars in this league.
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.
Amari Spievey played college football at the University of Iowa in the Big Ten. He had problems at school that he had take care of and went to Iowa Central Community College. He transferred back to Iowa, and finished up playing his sophomore and junior year there. He entered the 2010 NFL Draft and was drafted in the 3rd round, 66th overall by the Detroit Lions. He became a contributor on special teams early in his career, and then last year, he was their starting safety for the entire season. This was done in March 2012.
Joel Gamble played for Division II college called Shippensburg University up until the 2004 football season. He entered the 2005 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He wasn’t offered a chance to play for an NFL team until he was given a chance four years later for the Philadelphia Eagles. After he was on the practice squad in 2009, he then was cut during the 2010 Browns season. Afterwards, he signed with the Tennessee Titans practice squad. This interview was done towards the end of the 2011 NFL season.
Daniel Wilcox was undrafted after the 2001 NFL Draft, but signed a contract with the New York Jets. In 2002, he became a Super Bowl Champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He remained on their roster in 2003. However, in 2004, he signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens. He played tight end for the Ravens until the 2008 NFL season. He was known for his red-zone production. DW caught Joe Flacco’s first ever NFL touchdown pass. Check out our interview that was done in 2010, looking back on his career. Read more
Michael Vick played quarterback for Virginia Tech in 1999 and 2000. He entered the 2001 NFL Draft and was selected as the first overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. He played for them from 2001-2006, and set numerous records, and was arguably one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks of all time. After being arrested, MV served 23 months in prison, but is working hard to repair his image. He signed a contract with the Eagles and earned a tiny amount of playing time during his first year back. [UPDATE: He has worked his way back to the starting quarterback position with the Eagles, and is now their starting quarterback.] 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