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Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 06/15/2011

Niles Paul’s journal: “I just want to play football”

Editor’s note: Wide receiver Niles Paul, drafted by the Redskins in the fifth round out of Nebraska, has agreed to keep a weekly diary for The Post about his efforts to cope with the NFL lockout and make the team. Here is the first installment.

The anticipation to get out there and practice with my new team is killing me.

I feel like I’m a freshman trying to prove myself all over again. It’s hard to go from being “the man” where you came from to being just another guy trying to earn a spot on the roster.


(Photo by Mark Petinga)
To be able to get out there for a couple days for player OTAs [in May] seemed like a tease in my eyes. I only had three days to show the guys my heart, my drive, my determination and the competitiveness I want to bring to the team.

This is the moment that I have been pursuing all my life, and I refuse to miss out on the tremendous opportunity I have been granted. So I’m going to continue to train with my team at Nebraska as well as do some things on my own to make sure that I’m ready once this lockout is over.

It kind of puts me and all the other rookies in a tough spot, because we want to be there for the team, but we don’t want to get hurt and ruin any opportunity that we have before we actually get started.

It’s hard to know that you have a job but technically you’re unemployed at the same time. People who don’t know anything about the situation think that since we got drafted we get paid no matter what. I still feel like a broke college student at this point, just trying to survive with the little money I have saved up.

But to be completely honest, I could care less about the money. I really just want to get back on the field and play ball.

Don’t get me wrong, the money is a great benefit to playing this game, but I have been aching to get back on the field for a while and coming out there for that three days of practice didn’t do anything but make it worse.

I just want to play football!

By Niles Paul  |  09:30 AM ET, 06/15/2011

 
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