Five TCU Horned Frogs will soon be living the dream of playing in the NFL after hearing their names called during the NFL Draft last week. Wide receiver Josh Doctson (1st round, Washington Redskins), safety Derrick Kindred (4th round, Cleveland Browns), offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai (5th round, Philadelphia Eagles), wide receiver Kolby Listenbee (6th round, Buffalo Bills) and center Joey Hunt (6th round, Seattle Seahawks) will now be suiting up to play on Sundays instead of Saturdays.
“A dream come true.” Said Vaitai. “One of the things that people wish and I’m actually living it.”
It wasn’t an easy journey to the NFL, especially for Doctson, who went from being a walk-on to a first round pick.
“A humbling experience, the most humbling experience to get to the point where I’m at right now,” said Doctson. “The last 4 or 5 years, this is what I’ve been working for.”
Listenbee could be the fastest player in the NFL next season. He was a four-time All-American in track, and ran a 4.3 40-yard dash during the NFL scouting combine in February despite dealing with a sports hernia. He underwent surgery in March, which could explain why he wasn’t drafted until the later rounds.
“It really put a chip on my shoulder,” said Listenbee. “I just plan on going out there and working hard and prove that I should have been drafted higher.”
Under head coach Gary Patterson, TCU has now had 41 players drafted with a total of 87 in NFL camps. So how much did playing for Patterson help them prepare for the next level?
“He just told me you have to go up there with the mindset that you want it,” said Vaitai. “It’s not college anymore, it’s all business.”
“I think the biggest thing, which is already embedded in me, is just compete,” adds Doctson. “No matter what time of the day it is or what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be football, just compete.”
Written by C. James