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Kyler Murray signed a Cardinals helmet after being drafted in April, which has since been auctioned off for $three,450 – probably the most for a draft helmet within the NFL’s public sale.
Alyssa Williams, USA Immediately Sports activities

Austin Droogsma nonetheless doesn’t perceive why, however that basically not issues.

The New York Giants are taking a shot on the previous Florida State shot putter.

“I’ve by no means attended an NFL sport, and my first NFL sport could possibly be as a participant,” Droogsma mentioned.

“How bizarre is that? It’s actually loopy to assume I’m able that a few of these guys have labored their total lives for.”

Droogsma, an offensive guard, was one among 10 gamers signed by the Giants from their rookie tryout camp two weekends in the past.

His dimension (6-foot-Four, 345 kilos), athleticism and potential had been sufficient for the Giants to offer him an extended look. Droogsma is at present attending a month-long summer season camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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“It’s enjoyable that I get to play soccer once more,” Droogsma mentioned. “Not many individuals have the chance I’ve been given. It’s intriguing. It’s scary. It is most likely each descriptive phrase you may consider. I’m nonetheless attempting to determine why they referred to as me.”

Final organized soccer was in highschool

What makes Droogsma’s story distinctive is that he hasn’t performed organized soccer since Gulf Breeze Excessive, the place he additionally starred in wrestling and observe & subject. 

Whereas the 2013 graduate mentioned he had alternatives to play school soccer – he attended a Florida State camp – Droogsma elected to focus on observe. He was a profitable thrower at Florida State from 2013-18, inserting fourth on the NCAA Indoors and seventh on the NCAA Outside championships.

Droogsma remained in Tallahassee after commencement. He continued to coach within the shot put for skilled alternatives and presumably for the prospect to compete within the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He additionally labored the graveyard shift in safety and as a bouncer. Prepared to maneuver on in life, Droogsma was considering a profession in legislation enforcement.

“I used to be completely cool with not being an athlete any extra,” Droogsma mentioned.

A couple of weeks in the past, Dorian Scott, director of subject occasions at Florida State and Droogsma’s former throws coach, acquired a phone name from the Giants inquiring about Droogsma. Initially stunned, Scott additionally understood the Giants’ reasoning.

“They requested me some private questions on Austin, desirous to know what sort of man he was, and who he was,” Scott mentioned. “They knew his dimension, they knew he is wholesome. It actually appeared like that they had a plan.”

Droogsma thought name was a joke

When the Giants telephoned Droogsma, he thought it was buddies enjoying a joke on him.

It wasn’t a joke.

“Austin is a giant man and an elite athlete,” Gulf Breeze Athletic Director Mat Alt instructed the Pensacola Information-Journal. “He’s at all times had a willingness to push himself to new ranges.”

With assist from buddy and Florida State offensive lineman Landon Dickerson, Droogsma skilled 10 days in preparation for the Giants’ rookie tryout camp. He centered on fundamentals, mechanics and footwork. 

Droogsma mentioned he felt snug on the tryout, crediting teammates for his or her assist, too, with the thick playbook and recognizing schemes. All the Giants’ current draftees, together with Duke quarterback Daniel Jones and Clemson defensive deal with Dexter Lawrence, had been on the camp.

“It was a cool expertise to see guys from totally different backgrounds,” Droogsma mentioned. “My roommate has bounced across the league for 2 years going to those mini-camps. All of them thought my story and me being there was hilarious.”

Droogsma’s expectations are usually not hilarious. He is grateful, gracious – and decided to take advantage of this surprising alternative within the NFL. 

“I feel what helps me is my capability to be molded – they’ll mildew me into no matter they need as a lineman,” Droogsma mentioned. “I’m devoted to what is going on on and what they wish to do. I take a look at it as a gesture of fine religion. What I count on from myself is to offer and work as arduous as I can. The rest that occurs goes to be icing on the cake. 

“I definitely understand that is one thing that does not come round day-after-day.” 

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