Jon Asamoah knew he wasn't a 1st round draft pick, so he enjoyed the first night of the NFL draft.
"Yesterday when I was watching, I was just excited for a lot of guys I had a chance to meet in Arizona. So I was just happy to see those guys go."
However, the Illinois offensive guard had an expectation he would be taken on the second night. So Friday evening was more tense than the previous one.
"Oh man. I was kind of sweating tonight, watching all the names go by. It was hard. As the picks kept coming and coming, I could just wait. When it finally did come, it was a weight off my back."
That was when the Kansas City Chiefs selected him as the 68th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the fourth pick of the third round. To say he was relieved is an understatement.
"I talked to Coach (Bill) Muir, o-line coach of the Chiefs, on Pro Day for awhile. I knew they had interest. With about two minutes left on the clock for Kansas City, my phone rang and I talked to coach (Todd) Haley. I finally breathed again.
"This is a dream come true. This is one of those things that didn't happen to any people I would know. For me to get this chance...When Coach Haley said congratulations on being a Chief, it just made my year."
Asamoah watched the draft in Park Forest with his family and close friends. Being drafted this high after fracturing his shoulder in Senior Bowl workouts was validation for all his hard work and talent.
"It's just great. They liked what they saw, and I'm ready to go out there and start working out for them when we have our little mini camp next week."
Asamoah joins a long list of former Illinois players in the NFL. He is well aware of the history of which he is now part.
"It's an honor to join that group. I'm gonna look to those guys for guidance. I'm gonna try to get ahold of those guys and just learn from them. I look at them every day when I walk into the o-line room. Their pictures are on the wall."
Asamoah and teammate Arrelious Benn were both selected Friday. They have kept in touch and supported each other.
"We've been texting each other the last couple days. When he got picked I sent him a text, and when I got picked I got one right back from him. I'll probably call him in the next day or so. Now we're waiting on Oh-Oh (Michael Hoomanawanui) to get his name called."
He still can't answer how it feels to be a pro football player. But he knows hard work is ahead.
"I don't even know if it's sunk in yet. I'm just happy. Now I can get to work. I just want to go in there, work hard and earn people's respect, my teammates' respect. Take whatever I can from the guys that are there and learn whatever I can from them."
Asamoah has great respect for Muir, his new offensive line coach.
"I met him at the combine. I got a chance to step back and just talk to him and let him learn a little about me. In my workouts, he put me through a bunch of drills. And he was in the room when all the coaches were together firing questions at me. I really like him and respect him. I know he's one of the big-time o-line coaches."
Asamoah has already heard about the barbeque in Kansas City. Other than that he knows little about the city. But he is smart enough to give props to those who ultimately pay his salary.
"I've honestly never been there. This will be new for me. But I grew up watching the Chiefs on TV. The one thing that always stood out to me about the Chiefs was how great the fans were."