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April 27, 2013There is little question of Trent Steelman's place in Army football history ... it is secure, both as a football player on the field, but also a young man who has taken the title of underdog and displayed the type of character that movies are made of.
As the 2013 NFL Draft reached the 7th round and when the 4-year starting Army quarterback's name had not been called, whereby that pick was used to select Elon's Aaron Mellette ... to say that there was some level of disappointment in the Steelman camp would be an understatement.
His parents, who had purchased tickets for the event that was held at New York City's historic Radio City Hall, walked away disappointed. While Trent himself, opted to remain in the family's hotel room in NYC versus enduring the stress that often goes with the uncertainty of the NFL draft.
But once the dust had settled on the day, the news was very promising for Steelman, who took time out to reach out to GoBlackKnights.com to along his excitement, relief, as well as his open and honest, "Thank You" to the many folks that help him along the way.
"I've been a little overwhelmed with everything," shared an excited, but somewhat emotionally drained Steelman, who time to reflect on his Saturday's draft day event. I just couldn't do it," says Steelman, as he chuckles at his unwillingness to deal with the draft day tension. "I was just sitting in the hotel room just watching it. So when I got that call, I was in the hotel room and my parents were actually just leaving the draft and they were a little bit bummed out. However, as soon as I told them the news, I have never seen them so happy in their lives."
"We were hearing from a few other teams, but at the same time we kind of had the mind set that the Ravens were going to be the best fit for me and giving me the best opportunity. They are a great organization and they knew everything that the military commitment evolves around and they are willing to work with that. So when it came down to it they had called my agent in the late 6th round and talking about taking me in the 7th. But then they took another wide receiver and as soon as the draft was over they called me and told me that I was a Baltimore Raven."
For Steelman, his new football home has a commonality that he feels he can easily adapt and relate to. "I think just the mentality that the Baltimore Ravens bring ... they're tenacious, they're ferocious and I think they describes me in a nutshell as a football player," said Steelman of his football characterization . "Really, if you had to compare, they're a great representation of our United States Military. To be honest with you, it couldn't be a better fit and I'm excited about every opportunity that's going to come my way in the military and on the football."
Of course as a West Point grad, there is always the post grad obligation that Steelman briefly talked about. "We are still working out a lot of those details, but I know there are a few rookie mini-camps on the weekends that are upcoming that I will be attending," he added. "I'm be able to work with them (Ravens) to work around my military obligations as well."
Being drafted or signing as a free agent is the ceremony, but the real dance is making the final cuts and hence, the roster. Yes, Steelman will be entering the Ravens camp as an underdog, but it's a role the he is not only famiilar with, but embraces.
"I've always been that guy where it's been that one opportunity for me and all I need is that one opportunity to showcase my skills and to showcase my work ethic ... I had that mindset going into Army as a freshman," he declared. "They were my only offer and I was going to come in there with a positive attitude, willing to work and get better and I wouldn't be in that position without Army football, West Point and the military. I owe it all to them and allowing me to advance as a leader and advance as a person, which has gotten me where I am today."
For Steelman, this has been a journey that he surely has not walked alone and took a few moments to acknowledge those that have been with him through it all.
"But first and foremost I wouldn't have this opportunity with God and His plan for me. In addition, my family never missed one game," shared Steelman. "Every since I arrived at prep school they never missed a game ... never missed a game. They were there home or away and I know how much of a hassle that was for them. I have the best parents in the world and they have always been there for me."
"My brother has worked with me since day ... as I transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver. He's a wide-receiver's coach and he's put in countless hours, along with the coaching staff. You know, coming to West Point and giving me that opportunity to come in and step in as a freshman and having faith in me to get the job done. I owe them a lot of credit. Also a lot of credit to Coach Gerch (Brett), who took time out of his schedule to work with me and train me."
"There are countless people who have gone out of their way to help me get through the academy, to become a better leader, better person and I owe it all to them."
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