The chances of getting into the NFL are slim, and oftentimes it takes a player years of trial and error before he get his break.
Thousands of football players leave college with dreams of being drafted in the NFL, but only 256 are selected each year, according to the NFL Network. For those who aren’t picked, there are only two options: stick around for the following year’s draft, or give up a lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
Harvey Unga, former BYU running back and all-time leading rusher, has been working with the Chicago Bears for years but hasn’t yet been able to secure his position in the NFL.
According to the NCAA, only 1.6 percent of all NCAA senior football players are drafted. With more than 15,000 NCAA senior football players each year, the statistical odds of being drafted into the NFL aren’t great. To show the struggle of the drafting process for these players, NFL Media has begun an original TV series called “Undrafted.”
The six-episode series, which wraps up next week, features six players who weren’t drafted in previous years but who are still working to fulfill their dreams. Unga was chosen to be featured as he prepared to perform at the NFL Super Regional Combines, which took place in March.
This special tryout is a showcase for lesser-known college players and older free agents that is quickly becoming more competitive. Players of past Super Regional Combines are now starters on NFL teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.
“Undrafted” goes into the personal lives of the six players, highlighting their college football success and their training but also highlighting their families and personal interests. The NFL crew came to Provo to film Unga in his element and to show how important his dream is to his family.
“I have an amazing family; they’ve been there through thick and thin,” said Unga in his featurette. “It gives me hope … and strength, and it drives and pushes me to keep working hard.”
Unga doesn’t seem to quit, and despite the long road he has already taken, he remains optimistic. In a recent interview on BYU Sports Nation in September, he explained that he didn’t have the greatest experience in recent tryouts, but his agent continues to get calls from prospective teams.
To be featured in a TV series such as “Undrafted” is definitely good news for the former Cougar, and viewers of the series will get a glimpse into what it takes for talented players like him to catch that one break that will send them to the big leagues.
Click HERE to view the “Undrafted” featurette on Harvey Unga.
“Undrafted” began airing on the NFL Network on Oct. 23 and will finish on Dec. 9. All episodes can be found on the NFL streaming service NFL Now Plus.