COLUMBIA - Thursday marks one week after the start of the NFL Draft, where many college football players dream of hearing their name announced on the big stage. For five Mizzou players, this dream became a reality.
But dreams like this don’t come true without work. Offensive lineman Larry Borom was drafted in the fifth round to the Chicago Bears. He says he felt relieved that his work finally paid off, but the work is not done.
“I’m just constantly trying to find different ways to continue to get better at my craft,” Borom said.
Running back Larry Rountree III was drafted in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Chargers and says Draft Day was one he’ll never forget.
“I didn't know what was going to be said on the call,” Rountree said. "But when they said, you know, we want to make you a Charger, my heart dropped.”
That’s a feeling other NFL draftees know just as well.
“Man, that moment was everything,” Borom said. “It was nothing but raw emotion and excitement and happiness.”
Families are just as a part of the draft process as the players are. Rountree and Borom both say they wouldn’t have made it to the next level without their families in their corner the whole way through.
“They were my sole motivation, they pushed me every day to be a better man and a better athlete,” Borom said.
Rountree says he didn’t even tell his family he got the call from the Chargers and let them find out on live television.
“I didn't tell them I was on the phone call. So they went crazy,” Rountree said. “I sat down said, let's see who gets picked next. And then like, my name came across, and they just went crazy.”
For some, even a week later, getting drafted hasn’t even sunk in yet. Rountree says he’s expecting it to feel more real when he gets to LA.
“I never been in LA, you know, looking forward to getting there and getting to work,” he said.
Rountree also says he forgets he’s actually going to be getting paid to play football.
“It's not just football anymore, like it's actually something I get paid for,” he said.
And of course, a new paycheck is usually followed by a big purchase. Both Borom and Rountree say they’ll be buying new cars. Borom wants a Dodge Durango SRT and Rountree has his eyes set on a Dodge Challenger SRT.
Mizzou had a total of five picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Linebacker Nick Bolton was selected by Kansas City. Safety Tyree Gillespie is headed to Las Vegas and Safety Joshua Bledsoe was selected by New England.