When juniors Brendan Bigelow and Kameron Jackson left Cal to turn pro after the 2013 football season, the news was greeted by resounding silence from the NFL.
Neither player was among the more than 300 prospects invited to last month’s NFL combine.
But Bigelow and Jackson, who will take part in Tuesday’s Cal Pro Day workouts at Memorial Stadium, get hope and inspiration from Seattle Seahawks’ linebacker Malcolm Smith, MVP of the Super Bowl.
Smith wasn’t invited to the combine out of college, either.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let it humble you, and let it give you fire,” Smith said in a recent Sports Illustrated interview, when asked what he’d tell other young, overlooked prospects.
“You know, I have the 2011 draft bookmarked on my computer. I’d say once a month, at least, I open it up and scroll through and look at all the names, one through 254. I just want to see all those picked ahead of me and what happened to them.”
For Bigelow, a running back, and Jackson, a cornerback, it’s as if Smith were sitting right in front of them.
“I feel like he’s speaking to a lot of us in the same situation,” Bigelow said.
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