They all have stories, and the reality is most of them will never play a down in the league.
So here’s the one longshot I’ll be keeping an eye on: ex-Illinois heavyweight wrestler John Wise.
You hear these stories every spring about basketball players or wrestlers winding up with teams on a tryout basis. Most don’t make it. Some make it big.
Ex-Kent State hoops star Antonio Gates is the gold standard. Ex-Cal State-Bakersfield wrestler Stephen Neal, a guy you all know well, is another success story. And so teams continue to take stabs at these guys who lack bad habits — or really, any habits — and give coaches a blank slate to work off of.
Here’s a piece on Wise to get to know him a little better. He does have some background as a football player, having played on scholarship at Western Illinois his freshman before transferring out to wrestle in the Big Ten.