Ryan Spadola might not be a household name across the NFL, but the rookie wideout is quickly becoming a fan favorite in New York. With roster cuts on the horizon, the New York Jets' front office is sifting through the depth chart to determine who will make the 53-man opening day roster.
A Howell, New Jersey native, Spadola recorded three receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown during Saturday's 24-21 overtime over the crosstown Giants. Spadola's 70-yard catch and run in overtime help set up the game-winning field. While the former Lehigh University standout isn't guaranteed a roster spot, he's made a strong case that the coaching staff can't ignore.
"It is probably the most important week of my life, I would have to say that," admitted Spadola. "Everything over the next four days is going to come down to my dreams coming true or not. I'm really just trying to cherish every single day, mostly get better every single day. (Try to) become the best football player I can over the next few days. If I just do that, focus on what I can control, I think everything else will just fall into place."
Spadola is already drawing comparisons to former Jet great Wayne Chrebet, who was also undrafted out of college and played with a grit and determination that was unparalleled. Chrebet finished second on the franchise list for receptions with 580 catches and fifth all-time for receiving yards by a Jet with 7,365.
Chrebet offered some advice and guidance for the young receiver; as both men look to be on track for similar paths to the NFL.
"I was very fortunate, he actually reached out to me and wished me luck," said Spadola of Chrebet. "He gave me tips, going through this whole process because obviously back when he started his career he went through a similar process as I did. Obviously I took all of his tips and I've embraced that, (I'm) just going to continue to work hard. He said never sit back on anything you achieved up to date and continue to work hard and push to better yourself."