Saturday, May 10, 2014

UConn's Stephen drafted by Vikings

Perhaps he had to wait a little bit longer than he was anticipating before he heard his name called in the NFL Draft, but once Shamar Stephen spoke with the Minnesota Vikings coaches there was a sense of exhilaration when Minnesota took him in the seventh round.

"Every minute goes by slower and slower but I am blessed with the opportunity to be able to play," Stephen said.

"It is a long wait, I want to come in, prove I can play and be a factor for them next year," Stephen said. "I am not trying to worry about what round I got drafted, I just want to make the team and show people I can play."

Stephen had 60 tackles as a senior including a team-high 10 tackles for loss to go with three sacks as he was named the team’s most valuable player. He had 130 tackles including 17 tackles for loss during

It was the eighth straight year that at least one UConn player was taken in the draft and 22 Huskies have been drafted since 2005.

Stephen took a visit to Minnesota in late April and felt comfortable in his meetings with the coaches and the scheme that they play.

"They definitely showed me a lot of love, just the scheme and everything that they did," Stephen said.

Making the day all the more special was that he was surrounded by family and friends when he got the call.

"It means everything for me and my family," Stephen said. "It is a great opportunity for me and my family and I am trying to come out here and prove to everybody I can play and be able to be a factor for this team.

"Everybody was excited for me, everybody was happy for me. I definitely have to thank my family for all the support and thank my friends for all the support. It was definitely a great moment for me."



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