Purdue offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri spent draft weekend at home with his family in Texas, knowing that on Sunday his name could be called any minute.
"I was keeping my eye on teams like Jacksonville and Atlanta because they seemed like they were really interested," he said. "I knew Jacksonville had traded up for a lot of picks, and I was just sitting there waiting. I got the phone call and my whole house erupted--my uncle, my aunt, their kids, my parents, everybody who was in the house."
Prior to heading to Jacksonville for his first camp experience, Nwaneri spoke with excitement about his future.
"I'm ready to head off to Jacksonville and try to be a person who can contribute very early to the team," he said.
Atlanta wasn't the only other team that had shown interest in the former defensive lineman who successfully made the switch to the other side of the line during his collegiate career. Although the Jaguars and Falcons were the primary suitors at his Pro Day, Nwaneri knew he might hear from a couple of other teams.
"Seattle was a real possibility," he said. "They were in contact with my agent, talking to them before the draft as well as Chicago."
When asked what he wanted to tell Jaguars fans as one of the new members of the team, Nwaneri said, "They're getting a player who's going to go out and work his butt off every time he's out on the field, everyday at practice and who's going to be very involved with the community. And I look forward to seeing the fans out there when the Jaguars take the field in 2007."
Scout.com subscribers can listen in to a Scout.com Radio feature where Uche describes his strengths as a run-blocker and a pass
protector, the valuable life lesson he learned from his one-year suspension for
his uncharacteristic involvement in a fight with a teammate, what he's looking
forward to the most about playing in the NFL, and more! Just click the link
below to listen to the 5-minute audio clip:
Listen to Audio
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.