It's the phone call that Nate Gerry has always dreamed about. On Saturday afternoon, Philadelphia Head coach Doug Pederson called Gerry to tell him the Eagles had selected him with the 184th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
"It took me a while for it to actually feel real. You know, I was on the phone for a good five minutes or whatever, and I was trying to put together what they were trying to say to me, but my mind was still blow that I was getting a call from a NFL team, so you know, it was just so surreal for me," Philadelphia Eagles draftee and former Washington Star Nate Gerry said.
"Well I was very happy for him and very proud of him, because obviously he's put in all the necessary work to get where he is at. And this is a process, this isn't something where you just magically or physically turn into a NFL Player, there is a lot of work and effort that goes in behind it to get where he is at," Augustana Head Athletic Trainer Brian Gerry said.
Nate's NFL dreams started here, at Howard Wood Field, where he was a standout on both the track and football field. The hometown product is quick to credit his work ethic from being raised in Sioux Falls with a blue-collar background.
"You know I was raised by my parents by - you know - just work ethic. You know, we're a pretty blue collar family so we work for everything we get so when someone tells me I can't do something, it just makes me want to go do that even more. So you know, that was one of the chips on my shoulder that kept pushing me was, you know, I wanted to be that kid was a role-model for a lot of these younger kids to be able to show kids that they're capable of anything if they put their mind to things," Gerry said.
Nate will now head out to Philadelphia next week for mandatory rookie mini-camp, where the Eagles will likely covert him from a true safety to a hybrid Linebacker.
"You know, the position that I've talked to coach Pederson from the Eagles, he told me that it's a box safety role, so nothing that - nothing new that happened to me. You know, I knew I wasn't going to be playing a lot of man-to-man on the outside on slot receivers, I was going to be one of those run-stoppers underneath, so I think the spot fits me really well," Gerry said.
Gerry will head out to Philly next Tuesday, May 9th