Most pre-NFL draft projections failed to include a single Northwestern player, so when the festivities at Radio City Music Hall closed shop Saturday afternoon and zero Wildcats had heard their names called, everything had gone mostly according to plan.
Turns out, two NU NFL hopefuls have already found new temporary homes in the professional ranks. Offensive tackle Brian Arnfelt was the first to announce his professional employer: the Miami Dolphins. Brian Arnfelt followed up shortly thereafter when he revealed his signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. My description of the events is simply that – a description. Twitter tells the story:
You can’t say enough about what Arnfelt and Ward meant to the fabric of this team over their four years here. Last season brought out the best of these two Wildcats, with Arnfelt elevating his tenacity and run-stuffing prowess and Ward rarely giving up ground while protecting a rotating quarterback system. Ward and Arnfelt make up, without question, the two biggest replacement question marks heading into this season. Their talents and contributions are irreplaceable and NFL brass apparently saw enough to give them a shot at plying their trade in the professional ranks.
Signing a contract is the first step. Making it through training camp and making the gameday roster will be a climb for both players. But let’s cross that bridge at a later date. In the meantime, celebrate the professional prospects of two of Northwestern’s most pivotal players of the past few seasons. They deserve this opportunity.
Late night update: The list of Northwestern players attending NFL camps extended into the skill player ranks late Saturday night. Receiver Demetrius Fields, according to his Twitter account, will get a trial at Chicago Bears Camp. Meanwhile, linebacker David Nwabuisi has apparently earned a camp opportunity with the Carolina Panthers. A reiteration of the above commendation: well done, gentlemen.
Glory to God... Trusting that his will be done...Thanks for all the support and thanks to the Chicago Bears for extending an invite to camp
— Demetrius Fields (@King_Fields_) April 28, 2013