What can I say? It's been a very long weekend but an incredibly exciting time. It hasn't really hit me yet, but I'm sure that it will sooner or later. To be a rookie in the NFL, it's a dream come true. My father and mother are as happy about this as I am. We had a very emotional conversation right after Atlanta called.
As always, my parents, my family and my friends have been my support through all of this. I never could have done it without them. I hope that they realize how much I appreciate everything they have done for me.
We started the weekend with a huge party on Friday night. I had about 300 people over at my house. It was crazy but a lot of fun. Then my friends and I kept an eye on the draft through Saturday. We weren't sitting there staring at the television, but we did have a pretty good idea who was going where.
Yesterday, I had 25 friends over for a barbecue. We hung out here and had a great time watching the draft, but not worrying about the picks.
I wasn't disappointed in not being selected in those early rounds. I'm a player who was told he didn't have a chance to make the NFL. That wasn't too long ago. Then as my season unfolded at West Virginia, my agent and I began hearing from some pro scouts. Believe me, those are the calls you really want to get. So I view what has happened as a blessing. I feel that I am a good fit for this team. To get the chance to play with Michael Vick is beyond any dreams I ever had.
As the 5th and 6th rounds began, my agent fielded calls from 3 different teams, one of which was Atlanta. That is the hard part. You have team reps telling you ‘yes, we want you and we'll pick you next,' then you watch their selection and your name isn't on the board. But Atlanta kept calling back.
My agent did a wonderful job negotiating with them. That can be tricky, as he needs to let a team know you are available, but then he needs to get terms that will be favorable for you. We were able to come to an understanding early in the seventh round, which was fine with me. I was never really nervous but I have to admit that it is a relief to get this done.
I am very pleased to be going to the Falcons. Atlanta is a great sports city. The fans have high expectations. This team has a lot of top quality players. I feel that I'll be learning a lot that will improve my game.
Mini-camp will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I plan to leave here on Thursday so I get settled in somewhat before that starts. Then once camp is done, I'll come back home and continue workouts. I'll probably be moving to the Atlanta area in early June. That's when my agent will be negotiating a final contract with the Falcons.
I'm confident that I will be able to contribute to Atlanta's offense. I think that my speed and agility will be a good fit. I see my self in the mold of T.J. Duckett who has a variety of skills. Our running styles are very similar. I think that I'll be learning Special Teams first and I hope to be starting there this season. That's a good place for a rookie to learn the system and get on the field. I see great opportunities ahead. Atlanta has an excellent coaching staff and top facilities. It should be a great place to play ball.