PHILADELPHIA — There wasn’t a better story coming into the NFL draft than that of Hasson Reddick and his rapid climb up draft boards.
His story, which went from Camden to a walk-on at Temple to a potential mid-round draft prospect to the No. 13 pick on Thursday, added yet another feel-good moment to it when Temple’s very own Bruce Arians became his NFL head coach.
“To play for a fellow Temple guy, that’s special,” Reddick said. “How many people coming from this draft can say they’re going to play for a fellow alum? It’s going to be really special.”
Arians, who coached the Owls during the 80s, reportedly fell in love with Reddick throughout the process. The linebacker said the Cardinals were one of the teams who stuck with him the entire way. His final draft visit also was to Arizona.
So it became very fitting when Reddick’s improbable rise matched him with a head coach who has followed him and the Temple program for a very long time. Reddick added that he sensed Arizona would be his landing spot on draft night.
“I’m going to give everything I have to offer,” Reddick said. “Just come in there and work hard, try and be the best teammate and be the best player I can be… I’m going to go out there and try to be a special person for that program.”
He goes to a team that sees him under a grand light. After announcing the selection, Arians told the assembled media at the team’s facilities that he reminds him of, arguably, the best linebacker in football, Von Miller.
As always, though, Reddick won’t let the outside noise impact anything he does. Whether it’s being looked down on as he was coming out of high school or being viewed as the next big thing in the NFL like Arians sees him to be, the South Jersey native is just going to maintain his surgical-like focus.
“I never saw this coming,” Reddick said. “I always worked hard without setting in every word, I never thought what could come out of it until my junior year in college and I put in even more work my senior year. Now that I’m here and I finally got my name on a card, it’s still sinking in. I’m being overwhelmed with emotion.”
If there’s one thing that’ll make this transition as easy as possible for him, it’ll be the calming influence that is Arians, who certainly will be doing all he can to make sure the Temple kid is in the best position to succeed from day one.