BEHIND THE PLATE: De Braga on right path to NFL
November 6, 2014
Only one former Fallon standout's living the dream in the NFL but someone's on course to change that soon.
After dazzling the Silver State's largest class on the gridiron last decade and then moving onto a Division II program where he competed with his younger brother, Trevor de Braga landed his best job yet as he tries to join Josh Mauga in the NFL.
De Braga signed to play in the Indoor Football League for the Green Bay Lightning next spring after he wraps up coaching the Greenwave in the playoffs this month. For de Braga to get this far in the game speaks volumes that kids hope to even think about achieving.
It's one thing to dream about playing college or professional sports. It's another to set yourself up in the best possible situation to ensure that you have no regrets whether you make it to the top or just fall short.
De Braga is on the right path toward making that NFL dream a reality, just like Mauga has done with the Jets and Chiefs and Harvey Dahl accomplished in his career with the 49ers, Falcons and Rams. The countless tryouts and combine participations have helped de Braga reach the next best thing to the NFL with the indoor spring league.
Along with Mauga and Dahl, Aaron Lesue made a career in the arena league with the Utah Blaze but fell short of reaching football's biggest stage. But how many people do you know were only one phone call away from being offered an opportunity to star in the NFL?
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De Braga's been a hot commodity overseas as the ex-Colorodo Mesa star said he received offers from two teams in Germany last month. But he wants to stay on the mainland.
"I have been continuing my speed and strength workouts since May to try and find a team," de Braga said. "It's been a grind but finally something great has come through."
De Braga's hopeful that his journey will continue through the indoor league and catch the attention of an NFL scout or two. It can happen. Just ask Kurt Warner, who redefined the rags-to-riches story by going from a grocery store bagger to an AFL quarterback to a Super Bowl MVP for the Rams.
De Braga will get one last opportunity to refine his skills in the Euro-American Scout Bowl next month in South Carolina before reporting to Green Bay one week after the Super Bowl.
Next season will not be the last we hear of de Braga.
"I'm not going to let the dream of playing in the NFL disappear as long as I am physically able to play," he said.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.