Many college football players felt their dreams come true when they heard their name called at the NFL Draft last weekend. UW-Oshkosh wide receiver Sam Mentkowski was not one of them.
"It was a very low point. I was sitting in my room by myself for a while," Mentkowski said. The senior out of Greenfield, Wis. admitted he never thought he would get drafted but he did hope to get a call from a team looking to sign him as a free agent.
Still, the phone never rang. Most of the teams that showed interest in Mentkowski already had a full roster in place for their rookie camp. Just as all hope seemed lost, the phone finally rang.
"It was a big surprise and a good surprise, that's for sure," Mentkowski said.
The Jacksonville Jaguars offered the wide receiver a spot at their rookie camp.
— Sam Mentkowski (@sammentos2) May 1, 2018
At 6-foot 1-inches tall, and 195 pounds, the Division III product knows making the team is a long shot but Mentkowski has never been one to shy away from the odds.
"I've been looked down upon my whole life with every single team I join or camp I go to," he admitted. Mentkowski was the only DIII participant at the Wisconsin Badgers pro day where ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.41) and second fastest 5-10-5 shuttle (4).
"Like the pro day, I have a lot of confidence in myself," he said. "There's a reason I'm getting invited to this camp and I'm going to go down there and play with confidence."
The ticket onto a roster for Mentkowski could be through special teams. Even though he didn't play on the kickoff or punt team at UWO, he knows how important that role is for someone with his size and speed.
"That's a big thing going in these camps if I can surprise people at special teams, maybe I can stick around," he said. "I know it's going to be very tough, when they basically have one or two spots for about thirty guys that got invited but I'm just going to go work my butt off and see what happens."