Bloom's Rock Star Status Continues

Jeremy Bloom thought his NFL dreams may have died when the NCAA wouldn't let him compete in his final two seasons at Colorado. Fortunately for him, the Eagles noticed him and are giving him a shot. It's a move that has garnered a lot of attention for the Olympic skier looking to turn into a professional football player.

Never has so much attention been paid to a draft pick selected so late.

Agent Gary Wichard represents two of the Eagles' selections in last month's draft - first-round defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and fifth-round wide receiver Jeremy Bloom. But the post-draft interview requests for Bloom have outweighed those for Bunkley and the rest of the Eagles' draft picks combined.

"Doesn't anybody from Philadelphia - or anywhere else - want to talk about the first-round pick?" Wichard said jokingly.

Bloom hasn't played competitive football since 2003 and wasn't even the first wide receiver drafted by the Eagles. Fourth-rounder Jason Avant was.

But the kid has movie-star good looks and a great story to tell that includes finishing sixth in men's mogul skiing at the 2006 winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

"It's like representing a rock star," Wichard said.

Bloom already has earned more than a million dollars from endorsements from his skiing career, which is why he hasn't played football the last three years. The NCAA declared him ineligible.

While he could continue to make a lot more money on the slopes, it's his dream to play in the NFL.

"Jeremy is coming from Colorado where he has had cult-hero status," said his father, Larry, who grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion. "He has made a lot of money skiing and could have continued to, but he is playing football for the love of the game."

Bloom will be hard-pressed to see much playing time next season as a wide receiver. But the Eagles are hoping he can make an immediate impact as a punt returner. Last year's punt returner, Reno Mahe, actually led the NFL in punt return average, but he isn't the home run threat that Bloom is.

Bloom's first - and perhaps most difficult - job will be to blend in with the rest of the team's much less famous rookies.

"Jeremy's focus is on being a good teammate in Philadelphia," said Andy Carroll, the CEO of Icon Sports Group, the Utah-based company that handles Bloom's marketing, endorsements and promotions. "He doesn't want to be a distraction."

As for Bloom, he thinks the post draft mini-camp and the rookie camp that the Eagles are conducting now will go a long way toward helping him transition to the NFL. "I feel comfortable playing football now. One thing that I feel like I have been able to do is transition between those two sports very easily. Obviously, it's a much bigger challenge at the NFL level and I think that will be the transition, just like any other rookie," said Bloom.

He's also realistic about whether he was drafted on his celebrity or his football potential. "That is hard to say. I think it's a better question for the coaches. I think the thing that helped me the most was my game film from my first two seasons. I was fortunate to have a lot of success my first two years and had a lot of plays that I think the coaches looked at and saw a lot of athletic ability."

Bloom truly does love the game of football and knows that he's fortunate to have competed in the Olympics and still have a shot at playing in the NFL. He worried about the potential for a career in football even as he was pursuing his dreams on the slopes and believes that for whatever reason he was drafted, the Eagles will give him a fair shot at making the team and seeing action. For Bloom, it's all worked out well and he wouldn't trade the experience for anything. "I wouldn't trade the last two years for being a 1st round draft pick. The disappointing thing came when the NCAA would not allow me to do both. They showed me the door and caused me to miss my junior and senior season, but I think it is a tremendous blessing to be drafted into the fifth round and more importantly than the fifth round, to a team that I think is a perfect fit for me," said Bloom.

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