Vai's View: Welcome to the NFL

by | May 03, 2011

Saints & Sports

There are few things in sports more excruciating to watch than an NFL prospect who expected to go high in the draft, but gets dropped or doesn't get picked at all. In 1995, Mel Kiper famously touted BYU quarterback John Walsh as a top-10 pick, only to see his stock fall to the seventh round to Cincinnati.

Conversely, imagine the euphoria if you didn't plan on it, then suddenly a call comes informing you that you've been drafted!

For me, it was as they say, a new lease on life. My BYU career, though filled with spectacular moments, wasn't personally fulfilling because I failed to live up to my own expectations. After LaVell signed me, my dad hugged him and exclaimed in broken English, "Goach, my son will be All-American." I was never even All-WAC.

I grew up in Mesa, Ariz., — a Mormon settlement founded by pioneers dispatched by Brigham Young in the 1870s. From Mesa, I went directly to BYU — one LDS community to another.

St. Louis may as well have been Sodom and Gomorrah rolled into one. It was quite a culture shock.

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