May 9, 2013
Watching the NFL draft has become a phenomenon in our country.
And watching future NFL players wait for their name to be called while sitting live at the draft can be one of the most painful events you will witness.
I actually felt sorry for West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith as team after team passed on him in round one of the pro draft, and some of the so-called experts had him going as high as number six overall and to the Browns.
Smith reportedly was so distraught after not being selected Thursday that there was talk he wouldn’t come back to the draft Friday. He did and was selected in round two by the New York Jets.
I remember how difficult it was to watch live pictures of then Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn as team after team passed on him in round one of the draft back in 2007 until the Browns finally traded up to get him late.
The good news for former Ada and Miami Redhawk quarterback Zac Dysert was he didn’t have a live camera on him the weekend of the draft, but the agony of waiting for that phone call that he was drafted, was difficult to deal with.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” he told me on Sportstalk with Koza last week. “I had to take a couple of long walks around the neighborhood, for sure.”
Dysert had been projected by some as a mid-round pick, but as the draft continued, the anxiety heightened.
“I tried not to think about it too much, but that was easier said than done. I prayed a lot about it. I was very anxious and very nervous, yes.”
Finally, in the seventh and final round, Dysert’s phone began to ring. He got some calls from NFL teams that said they would be interested in signing him to a free agent contract, if he would slip through the draft.
Then it happened.
Zac Dysert was drafted.
The Denver Broncos selected him in round seven as the 234th player overall.
The wait was over.
“I can’t even describe the feeling that came over me,” said Zac.
Zac talked on the phone with Broncos head coach John Fox, a couple of assistant coaches, and even the Broncos team president, the former star quarterback John Elway.
“They welcomed me to the team. It was the best phone call of my life.”
The first person Zac hugged was his mom. “She’s done everything for me,” he said.
The wait was finally over.
No more nervous and anxious moments.
This was pure joy.
And did you know who Zac’s number one choice to sign with, if he didn’t get drafted was?
The Denver Broncos.
“It is crazy how it all worked out,” he told me.
“There is no one else better I can learn under than Peyton Manning. I can’t wait to get there to learn the playbook and take advantage of my opportunity.”
He gets there this week. The Broncos rookie mini-camp is this weekend.
“I will be there for about a month and a half, and then get a chance to come home-and then before you know it, summer camp will be here.”
Time may fly by now for Zac, but during the NFL draft, time stood still for the young man.
I remember sitting at the Milano Café in Lima a few years back and talking with then Ada High School head football coach Mike Fell.
“You know that kid (Zac) is going to be playing on Sundays in a few years,” Fell told me.
He looks to be right on.
I can’t wait for that to happen, officially.
He’s a lot closer to that prediction today.
I think he will make it.
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