Area draft hopefuls staying optimistic for call

GA Southern, Savannah St. standouts expecting to get draft call

Area draft hopefuls staying optimistic for call
Georgia Southern defensive back Donald Rutledge, Jr. (24) says he expects to be drafted in Saturday's late rounds. (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With the NFL Draft underway, pro football hopefuls hope one phone call this week can make their lifelong dreams come true.

“It’s crazy. My hands are sweating," laughs Savannah State wide receiver Czar Beneby. "I feel like that’s the whole process. Just waiting for that one call.”

Savannah State wide receiver Czar Beneby says he's staying optimistic about his NFL Draft chances.
Savannah State wide receiver Czar Beneby says he's staying optimistic about his NFL Draft chances. (Source: WTOC)

Beneby is just one of those hopefuls. The former Tiger says he’s heard from several teams interested in his talent. Now he hopes one will take a chance on him through the Draft.

“It’s so exciting," he says. "Just being able to grow up playing this sport ad being able to finally do something I really love, it’s just so surreal.”

The story is the same for Georgia Southern’s Donald Rutledge, Jr. The Eagle has had a long journey, first playing at The Citadel and Savannah State before his final season in Statesboro. Rutledge says he’s optimistic he will be drafted in the late rounds.

“Every time the phone rings, [my mom]'s like ‘Should I mute the TV?’ I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m not expecting a call until tomorrow,’" Rutledge jokes. "But this could happen.”

Both Beneby and Rutledge acknowledge their excitement could end in disappointment, as there is a good chance they end up undrafted.

If that ends up being the case, both say they’ll sign as free agents and try to make a team that way.

“Wherever I go, I know I’ll fit in,” Beneby says.

“I have things aligned if I don’t get drafted. I have things aligned if I do get drafted," Rutledge says. "I wouldn’t want to be the guy in front of me when we get to training camp.”

The excitement, the nerves, and the potential disappointment- both players say it is all rolled together to become one great thing.

“It’s just a blessing to be in this position anyway," Rutledge says. "Because I wanted to be in this position. I just wanted to be in the position to get a shot.”

And both plan to enjoy every moment of that blessing, until that long awaited phone call comes.

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