Oct. 18, 2016 – Purdue week – NFL Huskers update
Welcome, Husker Nation, to your weekly update on Huskers in the NFL.
I was blessed and fortunate enough to spend quite a few years in the NFL. I spent just under the last half decade of my career in DC, so I still keep my eye on the Washington Redskins each and every Sunday, along with all my other Husker brothers across the league. And a couple guys that I played with I want to give you an update on today and share some behind the scenes stories as well: thats Will Compton and thats Niles Paul.
Now the Redskins are currently 4-2. They are second in the NFC East and theyre riding a 4 game win streak as of right now. Will Compton was an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013. He was released by the Redskins at the end of training camp; but then re-signed a couple days later. He spent his rookie year on the practice squad.
Now I want to share a quick story about Will. I remember the first time I met him. I saw him in the locker room. He was one of favorite guys to watch at Nebraska. Went up to him, introduced myself to him, had a nice you know 2-3 minute chat; but it was right before his rookie mini-camp. And I remember walking out of the locker room; and most guys dont come back from a rookie mini-camp. Its 3 days and 90% of the guys are gone. So I remember looking back and thinking “I wonder if Ill see him here on Monday” because I think that was like a Thursday. Sure enough, he was there that Monday; and hes gone from a guy who didnt know if hed be there 3 days later, a guy that was released and spent time on the practice squad, to a guy who is now the teams leading tackler so far this season for the Redskins, and a team captain. Hes one of my favorite guys to watch in the entire NFL.
Now, Niles Paul. He was drafted in 2011 in the 5th round. In 2012 they moved him from a receiver to a tight end. In 2013 they moved him from tight end to fullback (not your typical position transition). 2015 they signed him to a three year contract and he was back at tight end. He ended up getting hurt last year. But hes back this year; and he, too, is a team captain for the Washington Redskins. Just like Will Compton, hes doing really well.
Now its interesting, because the position transitions that he made are not typical or normal. Thats whats interesting about these two guys to me: Will didnt even know if he was going to be there being undrafted – team captain, leads the team in tackles.
Niles Paul – all these transitions that he made from the different positions. The fact is hes one of the strongest receivers Ive ever seen in my life. I once saw Larry Fitzgerald lunge 405 – that is no BS. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, Niles Paul is the most physical and the strongest receiver Ive ever seen. Ive seen him bench 315. Ive seen him squat 405 and Ive seen him not just do it; but rep it out. He has a blue-collar smash mouth attitude. Hes very physical. Ill never forget the first time he played tight end in a practice. They just moved him from receiver and kick off return and he had to block me. I remember his eyes got a little bit wide when he looked at me; but hey- he hit me right in the mouth and gave me everything he had, and Ive always respected that.
Im proud of these two boys and they represent what being a Nebraska boy is all about.
So Go Big Red, and always remember to Throw the Bones!