Jason Weaver has had quite a road that has taken him to the edge of living his dream of playing football at the highest level.
Weaver, who played his high school football at Edna Karr in New Orleans, went on to play a few years at Arizona Western Junior College before finishing his career with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
In 2010, Weaver suffered a season ending knee injury. Fortunately, he was granted a medical redshirt and has been a leader on the offensive line for the Eagles for two years.
He also earned second team all C-USA honors.
As he enters the next phase of his playing career, the New Orleans native is humble and thankful for his opportunity to play football at the highest level.
"I'm at the NFL Combine right now, and I'm getting ready for Pro Day in two weeks so its a quick turnaround," he told GoldenEaglePride.com in an interview yesterday.
"I'm doing a good job staying focused and just trying to stay humble right now.
"Its a good experience, I'm blessed to be here. Its a lot of work being put in, but there can be some really long days. There are a lot of interviews and doing stuff like meeting with team doctors right now. There is so much of the mental side of things. We go on the field tomorrow, so its a great opportunity for me to show what I can do."
To have the opportunity to play at the next level the players are pushed to the absolute limit as they are evaluated and tested in every way possible.
"The long days and staying focused are the most challenging," he explained. "You have to remain focused through it all. I'm up from about 4:30-5:00 in the morning all the way through 11-12 at night.
"There is not much sleep for us, so that's the biggest challenge is staying focused.
"Staying consistent is the biggest thing I am trying to work on. There are always things I can work on, things I do good that I want to do great. I have a lot to improve on."
Weaver said he was able to see a familiar face the other day in former teammate Jamie Collins.
"I ran into Jamie Collins today, we were at the Nike suite together, and we were able to chat a little bit," he said. "He's doing medical stuff and interviews but things are going well for him as well."
As he reflects on this experience, Weaver is overwhelmed with thankfulness and appreciation for how far he has been able to come.
"I'm very blessed," he said. "I'm trying to seize the moment and take advantage of my opportunity. When I heard I was invited here it was probably the best day of my life.
"It is a blessing to be here, and I have to work my hardest to make someone want to take me here. My faith is strong and I just have to leave the results up to God."
Weaver said it is not really possible to tell where he might go or who he might go to at this point because there is a lot of different factors at work in the process.
"It is hard to tell because some teams will not show a lot of interest because they want to keep you quiet, then they'll come up and draft you from what I've been told," he said. "It happens that someone you haven't even talked to will draft you. Everyone's looking for that surprise and that diamond in the rough."
As I asked him to reflect on his time with Southern Miss, Weaver said even though last season didn't turn out well, he would not change a thing.
"It means pride to be a Golden Eagle," he said. "We were not a huge school, and Southern Miss is a blue collar school.
"Things didn't go right last year, and it was a humbling experience. That showed me how important it was to continue to compete every play because you never know who is looking. It taught me to continue to have pride in who you are and in what you do no matter what.
"I have a lot to live up to in the school name of being a Golden Eagle. There is a lot of respect here for Southern Miss. Everything happens for a reason, and I have no regrets about my time."
Knowing Southern Miss fans are behind him through this process means everything to the big offensive lineman.
"I appreciate all the fans who have kept with us through all the hard times and all the good times as well," he added. "I'm thankful for all them and I feel their support."