Sitting. Waiting. Watching. Hoping. Thatâ€™s what it comes to this weekend for a couple recent college graduates looking for their first work out of school.
But this isnâ€™t any job they are trying to get â€” it is the dream job. The one theyâ€™ve waited and worked their entire life for.
The National Football League. The most popular and powerful sports league in the nation.
â€œSo much anticipation. Every football playerâ€™s dream is to play in the NFL. The Draft is here, the anticipation is just…â€ former CSU running back Ray Carter trails off, thinking about what is coming. â€œEveryone just wants to know where theyâ€™re going to go.â€
Of all the Rams who ended their college careers after the 2011 season, Carter may be the most likely of them all to get drafted. That may come as a surprise to some, considering the Los Angeles native wasnâ€™t the starter at the end of his CSU career.
But Carter has put himself on NFL teamsâ€™ radar with his impressive work at his pro day in March.
At the Indoor Practice Facility on CSUâ€™s campus, Carter notched impressive numbers and got the attention of scouts in attendance. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds and did 26 repetitions of the 225 bench press.
For comparison, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who is a projected top-10 pick, ran a slower 40-yard dash and had one less rep on the bench press.
Combine those numbers with Carter being prototypical NFL running back size at 6-feet tall and around 215 pounds, and you have a potential late-round pick.
â€œMy pro day really helped me a lot. It really boosted me up,â€ Carter said. â€œA lot of teams like my measurables and my athleticism.â€
Carter has talked to a handful of teams, one of them being the Denver Broncos, who said they view him as a late pick or a priority free agent.
Another CSU star, who is a possibility to be picked in the late rounds or signed as a priority free agent, is Myke Sisson. He played linebacker at CSU, but will likely have to transition to safety in the NFL.
Sisson was undersized for his position, but his on-field production was undeniable. He had over 90 tackles in each of his first three seasons, and likely would have reached that total in his senior year if not for injuring his ankle early in the season, forcing him to play in only five games.
He said heâ€™s willing to do whatever it takes to make an NFL team. Whatever position, special teams, anything. Funny how a game can shape you.
â€œAfter my first year of playing, I just wanted to play football the rest of my life, and it became a big part of my life,â€ Sisson said. â€œItâ€™s crazy. All this hard work that weâ€™ve put in for all these years is about to pay off, and our dream of playing professional football is coming. Iâ€™m excited.â€
The first round of the Draft was Thursday evening. Rounds two and three are on Friday, and rounds four through seven are on Saturday.
For Sisson and Carter, the reality is just beginning to sink in about the chance of a life-long dream coming true.
â€œJust thinking about it, starting with Pop Warner going through high school and college, now itâ€™s here,â€ Carter said. â€œThatâ€™s what weâ€™ve been working on since we started playing football. Now that it’s here, it’s just another big step to take.
â€œYou just have to take advantage of it because this opportunity doesnâ€™t come for everybody.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NFL Draft schedule
1st round: Completed Thursday
2nd-3rd rounds: Friday, 5-9:30 p.m. ESPN
4th-7th rounds: Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ESPN