BOONE, NC—Dan Bruce, a talented wide receiver at Appalachian State University, is trying to figure out his future after he failed to be drafted in the 2017 National Football League (NFL) Draft held April 27 through 29 in Philadelphia.
While Bruce set numerous records during his four years of play at Appalachian State and had attracted the attention of NFL scouts who were impressed with his athleticism and soft hands, insiders say that as the NFL Draft neared, teams soured on the 21 year-old after failing to identify any trace of criminal activity in his past.
“If you’re not going to commit a crime, don’t expect teams to give you the time,” a veteran sports agent who represents multiple NFL players said. “There’s just too much risk that a player who is on the straight and narrow isn’t going to fit in. It could disrupt the team chemistry.”
Bruce was warned that his behavior could cost him his chance at an NFL career.
“Dan is a really great football player who definitely has NFL-level talent,” Sean Ryan, the Appalachian State football team’s offensive coordinator explained. “But I told him that it wasn’t all about what he did on the field. I tried to convince him that even if he wasn’t comfortable with something like assault and battery, he should at least get a DUI. If he had one, I have no doubt he’d be wearing an NFL uniform next season.”
Unfortunately Bruce didn’t heed Ryan’s advice and now has to face the possibility that he will never play in the NFL.
“It’s tough,” Bruce, who graduated from Appalachian State with a Communication Studies degree, told Daily Bamboo. “Football has been my life and I know that I have what it takes to play in the NFL so it’s really hard to think about this being the end of the line. If I could do it over again, I’d definitely go as far as armed robbery or domestic assault if it would give me the opportunity to play in the NFL.”