DIII school's first NFL Draft prospect is too busy to be surprised by his success
Joyce Park stashed this in The Sporting Life
Illuminating article about what it's like to try out for the NFL if you are talented and dedicated but have next to no support system -- like you attend a Division III college without a scholarship, a training table, or even a gym you can use in the off-season. The most important thing, it turns out, is building up your confidence that you are as good as the guys from the big football programs.
I find his story very inspiring!
Marpet worked out hard during his early offseasons. He would go to LA Fitness or New York Sports Club with teammates and other Division III players. He ate A LOT to put on weight in college. He is still eating. Over the course of four or five meals per day, Marpet packs in 7,000 calories. With that dedication, it's no surprise Marpet quickly became a fixture for the Statesmen.
Marpet started from his sophomore season onward. He is a three-time All-Liberty League first teamer, and was a D3football.com first team All-American his senior year. Yes, it was just DIII football, but that still made Marpet an upper-percentile player. He was named the Liberty League's co-Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the first offensive lineman to ever earn the honor. Marpet would have been remembered at Hobart even if his football career was destined to end after his senior season.
No Hobart football player has ever been selected in the NFL Draft, so imagine the surprise of BLESTO scouts when they paid a cursory visit to spring practice in 2013 and saw Marpet run sub-5.0 in the 40-yard dash. Marpet looked up the physical dimensions of draft-worthy linemen, and figured he belonged.
"I mean, I'm not on scholarship here -- I was just playing because I love playing football, and I love the team and I love getting better," Marpet says. "I realized I stacked up with the other offensive linemen that were trying to play on the next level. So I figure, why not me? And since then, it's sort of been my goal to try and make a roster."
For comparison's sake, here is how a top lineman at a DI school is treated. Both kids work hard, but note the descriptions of the equipment and support system for the big program... they literally have told him exactly what to eat and what exercises to do every day of his life since he was 17!
I can appreciate the guy who had to figure it all out himself. The struggle. The discipline.
I hope he gets drafted, and I hope he gets to have an NFL career.
It also puts Chris Borland walking away into context of how hard people work to get there.