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May 3, 2013
Former FSU fullback Lonnie Pryor has been prepping for a career in the NFL, and Warchant.com will follow the 2013 Orange Bowl MVP's progress in his World Diary. This is the final entry from Pryor as told to Warchant.com's D.C. Reeves.
I signed a rookie free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it's a great opportunity. I'm happy I got to stay in Florida, I'm just 3 1/2 hours from home, Okeechobee, so I didn't have to go too far. My girlfriend is from Jacksonville so it worked out well.
I'm not playing anywhere cold so that's even better.
I didn't get drafted, and it did bother me at first. You're sitting there, you have all your family there and you're watching TV and everyone is waiting to hear your name called. It hurt to not hear my name called. It hurts, but things happen and I always look at things happening for a reason. The fact that I didn't get drafted just gave me a little more incentive and something to push me to show everyone what I can do.
But going into this thing, I thought I would get drafted but I wasn't sure. I was always told myself that all I needed was a chance to make a team. Soon as the seventh round hit, especially going through the 7th round, we were kind of just looking at the teams and thinking I'm not going to get drafted. My agent and I talked about how this is a good chance as a free agent, where you can pick where you want to go. If I did get drafted there's a chance I could go somewhere where they already had a fullback. So it worked out really well, and Jacksonville was the best fit for me.
As far as what led me to Jacksonville, it was crazy right after the draft was over. I didn't get picked obviously, but a lot of teams still wanted me as a free agent.
During the draft I had Jacksonville call, Tampa, Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle ... I had a lot of other teams call me. During the seventh round I'm getting phone calls, teams saying that if we don't draft you we may take you as a free agent. So pretty much throughout the seventh round they're calling. It's kind of like high school all over again with these coaches calling me over and over and trying to sell their team to you, they want you to come there and play fullback. It's like high school but harder because it's business.
As they are calling, I'm texting my agent to let him know which teams called. So he was already looking through transactions and depth charts to see what their situations were at fullback. So right after the draft I sat down and talked with my agent on the phone and my family, we looked into which teams had fullbacks, which spot was going to open up well for me. We had narrowed it down to Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. Jacksonville just worked out better than everywhere else.
I know Jacksonville just lost their starting fullback Greg Jones, a Florida State guy, and they had one other fullback already there so we thought that would be my best opportunity to go there and play and compete for a starting job.
It was crazy and now I'm just glad it's all over with. I'll start a three-day minicamp in Jacksonville this weekend.
I'm blessed that the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted me and now I can just go up there, do what I've been doing and go get a job. My motivation is high right now. Not getting drafted, I've got a reason to prove myself that I can play fullback at the next level and show other teams I can do it.
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