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May 4, 2013Losing a competition for a starting job on defense for three consecutive years would take its toll on anyone. Some of us might even be inclined to give up the game altogether.
But for former Virginia Tech Hokies Whip linebacker Alonzo Tweedy, he never gave up. His resilience in the face of adversity and star special-teams play has finally come to fruition- he signed a free-agent deal with the New York Giants minutes after the draft was over last Saturday.
"No, not at all," Tweedy said when asked if he ever contemplated leaving football. "In college, I was just waiting for my time on defense. But on special teams, I could help on every unit in a lot of ways. I think that everybody on special teams has an important job, and I played it to the best of my ability."
That impressive special-teams play ultimately generated interest from multiple NFL teams, although Tweedy started just 4 games at Virginia Tech. That proves just how productive the speedster is in the third-phase of the game- he still finished with over 100 career tackles (103).
"We definitely had solid interest from multiple teams- we had multiple offers," Tweedy's agent, Adam Sattler, told HokieHaven.com. "At the end of the day, we thought what the Giants were offering was the best, not necessarily for the money, but also the best fit. We're definitely excited."
It's not often that a special teams player makes a name for himself, especially in college, but Tweedy became a fan favorite for his blinding speed and strong ability to make tackles in open space. Although the Richmond native was never able to cement himself as the clear-cut stater in his time with the Hokies, it proves just how coveted every facet of the game is in the NFL. Still, Tweedy never imagined he would generate the interest that he did.
"Not really, I don't think I had a lot of film like other guys did," Tweedy said. "I guess I had enough and I had a good pro day, so that helped me out a lot. I generated a lot of interest from multiple teams, and the Giants were one of them."
Sattler mentioned that the Giants not only loved his special teams abilities, but also could envision Tweedy as a safety, considering they like to use 3 or 4 safeties on the field at once.
"They said they saw him as a core special teamer- so that means all four spots on special teams," Sattler said. "They also liked the fact that he played in the box at Tech as a linebacker. He can defend the read-option stuff that Virginia Tech runs and there's a couple teams in the NFC East that run a lot of that. They felt they could work him in at safety as well."
Every pee-wee football player's dream is to make it into the NFL, and at least for now, Tweedy has accomplished that impressive goal. But he still understands that there's still plenty to prove.
"It feels great, but I also have to tell myself that it's just the beginning," Tweedy said. "Just because my name is up there as a New York Giant doesn't mean I have to stop working. It means I have to work even harder to get what I want. Like you said, every player's dream is to make it to the NFL so I'm finally there. But it doesn't stop, I just have to stay focused and work extremely hard."
That hard-working mentality is exactly why Tweedy is in this position- a chance to be a part of a four-time Super Bowl Champion organization.
And it doesn't appear that he will settle for just a chance.
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