From the High School Field to an NFL Success

Many high schoolers dream of playing their sport in college and going pro and have had that dream since they were much younger. But out of over one million high school football players, just 2.6 percent are eligible to play for NCAA Division I teams, 22 percent are Draft Eligible, and only 1.5 percent of Draft Eligible players actually get a slot in the NFL. So, in the end, how many high school athletes really get a shot at being NFL players? A fraction of a percent—in fact, just .023 percent.

For those in that fraction of a percent, what does a path from a high school football player to college to a Draft Eligible player to an eventual NFL player look like? One thing is certain—it is long, hard, and full of grind.

On today’s episode of #WinTheDay, Host Chase Wasson met with Scott Chandler, former Tight End for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Former NFL Football player for the San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots, to talk about how he landed on the football field in high school and took it all the way to the NFL as a fourth-round pick and made football a career.

High school coaches can have a major impact on their athletes not just on the field and in high school, but far beyond. These coaches can shape how students take on other challenges in life by impacting their self-efficacy and grit.

“When I got to the level where I understood that these coaches just want what’s best for you and they want you to be the best that you can be…and I think I gained that in college. When I figured that out, it just made me want to hear what they have to say, want the critique, because I found that I could be better,” Chandler explained.

Wasson and Chandler also discussed…

1. His struggles as a former basketball player and how he pivoted to become a successful NFL player

2. Perspective on how his high school coach impacted him and how that has played out in his own coaching today

3. What has propelled him into life after football

Chandler described a realization he had through his challenges in the NFL. “These are, like, freak of nature athletes, it’s the best in the world, right?…I don’t have the athleticism that a lot of these guys have. And that took me awhile to figure out that I’m not going to get to where I want to go in the NFL just being athletic, being able to catch the ball. I had to become a technician. And I don’t know that I really even learned that until I’d been cut one time.”

Scott Chandler is a former Tight End for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Former NFL Football player for the San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots. After his NFL career, Chandler was self-employed through Colonial Southern Borders. Currently, he is self-employed at Chandler Real Estate Investments. Chandler holds a BBA in Marketing from The University of Iowa.

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