Once upon a time, Redskins defensive end (and amateur blogger) Adam Carriker was one of the top prospects in all of college football. Just five seasons ago, he awaited the exact same uncertainty that many top prospects face going into tonight.
His between his junior and senior seasons at Nebraska, Carriker was named the team’s MVP, along with the NCAA’s Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards. He tallied 134 tackles despite starting only two full seasons, and piled up 20.5 sacks in his career.
But Carriker explains in his latest blog post on ProInterviews.org, that the titles and totals were less important than his game tape. The way he performed on film was the true essence of his NFL job application and résumé.
Everything he had ever done as a football player led up to Draft Day:
Draft Day is something that athletes dream about their whole lives. It is the culmination and reward for all the hard work that we have put in up to that point.
The truth is, an athlete starts preparing for Draft Day during their very first day of college. From the first day of college, everything you do is gearing you up for your professional career.
Just like non-athletes prepare for the professional world in their fields of study, future NFL players study the gridiron. The path to the NFL Draft is the interview process that most young professionals enjoy. But most young professionals don’t have the world watching as they get hired:
Draft Day was here, and I was so nervous! I had butterflies in my stomach like I was about to go play an actual game. All of the hours of hard work were about to pay off.
I had no idea where I would go. I could go to an east coast team, west coast team, mid-west, north, or south. I had absolutely no say and no idea where I would end up.
Carriker was enjoying a Draft Day party in Washington state with his family, and 12 players had been taken off the board. As the Rams got on the clock, his phone rang, silencing the party-goers at his house:
I actually got a little light-headed, and I couldn’t believe it. We paused the phone conversation so we could watch the commissioner announce it on television.
Later that day, I flew out and the next chapter of my life began. My life has never been the same since.
I encourage you to partake in Carriker’s full story, as it walks through the process and pressures of being a first round pick. Five seasons after being taken with the Rams’ top pick, Carriker still vividly remembers his draft day experience.
Whoever the Redskins take No. 2 overall (don’t jinx it!) tonight, is compiling his own unique Draft Day memories, right now.