Welcome to our new series Making The Team. In our series we will follow former All-SWAC defensive end/ Outside Linebacker Quinton Spears from Prairie View A&M who has since signed as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins and will try to defy all odds again and make the Dolphins final NFL roster.
We fill follow Spears throughout training camp and chronicle his attempt at making the team, giving you an inside perspective of the life of an undrafted free agent.
In our first installment we talk to Spears about what it was like waiting for the lockout to end and what it’s like now that he’s finally a part of a team and has something to work towards.
“The lockout was a difficult time, you had to exercise patience,” the 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end told joltleft.com. “Every time a deadline was set, you would get excited then the deadline would come and two weeks later there was another deadline, then another deadline.”
“You had to be self-motivated, get up every day and work out and be very self-disciplined.”
When the lockout was lifted, teams could start contacting undrafted free agents and would be able to start signing them on Tuesday. Once that day came Spears didn’t have to wait too long before finding out which team would give him a chance.
“At first early In the day my agent was on the phone with Green Bay and he was pretty confident they were going to offer me a contract but later that night Miami called,” The former All-SWAC defensive end said. “It happened very quickly, when I got the call somebody else was already on the phone talking to my agent working out the details, I got the call and they said how would you like to be a Miami Dolphin? I accepted and I was excited, I didn’t go to sleep until about four in the morning and I had to fly out at 10:00 am.”
Spears flew out the very next morning to sign with the Dolphins, do his physical and is waiting in Miami until the start of Dolphins training camp, which kicks off Thursday, July. 28.
“Signing that contract was a big deal, it’s kind of like a tryout contract because you have to prove yourself, if they’re not satisfied with your performance they can cut you at any time.”
Spears signed a three year contract for the new league minimum $375,000 but once training camp kicks off he and his fellow teammates will be under the microscope and their time with the Dolphins could realistically end at any moment.
“Basically the contract gives you an opportunity to prove yourself,” he said. “If you prove yourself then you have nothing to worry about. But if you have a bad day or a bad week you could be on the fence to go home so you have to take advantage of every opportunity.”
During his senior season Spears racked up 70 tackles in eleven games, including nine tackles for loss, four and a half sacks, a forced fumble and an amazing three blocked kicks. The odds are not in the favor of an undrafted free agent but there have been plenty of guys that went on to have All-Pro careers from the exact spot Spears is sitting right now.
“My time at Prairie View was a true success story, I walked on to the team, I had to prove myself and work towards a scholarship. It really teaches you that nothing is going to be given to you, you have work for it and persevere and it transfers over to my situation now where nothing is promised, you have to prove yourself and work for a position. My time at Prairie View game me a head start to what I’m preparing for now.”
With the start of Camp just around the corner Spears is ready for his opportunity to persevere yet again in his attempt to make the team. He could go from an HBCU walk on, to an All-Pro, time will tell.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the competition and competing for a job and a spot on the team, learning the program, learning the scheme improving as a player and taking full advantage of the opportunity that was given to me.”
The Dolphins will report to training camp on Thursday, July. 28 and practice will start Friday, July. 29 and their first preseason game will be on Friday, Aug. 12 against the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. EST.
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