Heading into the 2013 NFL Draft, as with just about every other NFL Draft, the big-time prospects are the ones getting the press. There are plenty of interesting stories in the crop of blue chip prospects, from Marcus Lattimore to Manti Te'o to Tyrann Mathieu. However, when a player from a service academy has an opportunity to get drafted, it's a really special story that can take on a life of its own. Army quarterback Trent Steelman is in that position, though he will be changing his position on the field to make his NFL dream come true.
Army quarterback Trent Steelman turned some heads during practices for the East-West Shrine Game, smoothly transitioning from option quarterback with the Black Knights to wide receiver. Trent Steelman also took snaps as a wildcat quarterback and took on duties as a long snapper, showing his versatility and making himself a valuable commodity that multiple NFL teams have already shown interest in.
Army football fans don't need an NFL Draft expert to tell them that Trent Steelman can make it in the NFL and should be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Trent Steelman has been the heart and soul of Army football the past four seasons as the starting quarterback for head coach Rich Ellerson, leading the team to a bowl victory in his sophomore season, beating Air Force this season and closing the gap in the rivalry against Navy, though Army came up just short of finally snapping their losing streak this season.
As an individual, Trent Steelman is in the Top 15 in career rushing yards for quarterbacks in NCAA history and holds the Army records for single season rushing touchdowns and career rushing touchdowns. His four years of experience operating a triple option offense at a high level make him a very attractive option as a wildcat quarterback and his transition to the wide receiver position has opened up some NFL eyes.
In the East-West Shrine Game, Trent Steelman scored a touchdown from the wildcat and celebrated with his traditional touchdown salute. Given his toughness, athleticism and adaptability, there's a chance we could see that salute again, this time on an NFL field. Check out some of Trent Steelman's career highlights from his time at Army:
The question with players from service academies is always the service requirement they agreed to upon enrolling in their respective academy. The most famous example is that of Caleb Campbell, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions after his requirement was initially waived, but was then forced to leave after the Army revised its policy.
There's a good chance that Trent Steelman will be drafted in the later rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft. If he isn't, expect him to be a hot commodity once the final selection is announced and the teams compete for the undrafted free agents still available. Don't be surprised if he's on an NFL roster when week one rolls around.
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