Undrafted Television Series | Player & Producer Interviews
November 1, 2016
With the proliferation of football related TV shows, we have a hard time choosing how to divide our tv watching hours (because not only is there football, there's also Real Housewives!) but one football show we don't even consider missing is Undrafted.
The Undrafted television series on NFL Network is endearing, inspiring and poignant (pretty much the opposite of Real Housewives...it's all about balance people!) so when we had the opportunity to interview Jeremiah Allison, a featured Season 3 player, and the producers of the Undrafted television series, we jumped at the chance!
Jeremiah Allison: Jeremiah is our linebacker that tragically lost his mother just prior to attending Washington State University. He was out to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL and making his biggest fan (his late mother) proud.
What have you learned about yourself from the unique perspective this opportunity afforded you? Has this it changed anything in your daily life? Throughout my collegiate career I've learned many things about myself. One of the main reasons I chose WSU was to find myself and become the man I wanted to be and that's exactly what I did. I've learned the importance of patience and selflessness. I incorporate these traits into my everyday life and flourish the Coug way.
What is your perspective of the NFL draft now? Do you have any advice for players wanting to make it to the next level? When it comes to the NFL draft it's still a mystery to me, because it consist of so many surprises. If I could offer any advice to individuals pursuing their dream it would be to remain humble, and embrace the process.
Do you have any aspirations beyond the NFL? The goal is to always inspire others, this is why I played the game. Right now I'm in the process of beginning my law career and going to law school. I want to make a change in this world and leave an everlasting mark on it. I feel we are blessings to be blessings to others so we have to use our pedestal for good.
Are there any charities that are particularly close to your heart?During my years at WSU I've always been involved in community service activities. I've done Habitat For Humanity, WSU Reading Buddies, Sr. Buddies, Special Olympics, Butch’s Holiday Bash, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, however the next thing I want to do is create a scholarship in my mother's name to keep her legacy going. #KeepItGoing
Watch Jeremiah Allison's video here- we dare you not to love this guy!
From our interview with the producers of the Undrafted television series:
What do you see in the players you choose to feature on each season of Undrafted that you don't see in others? When casting for players to appear on Undrafted, our criteria is two fold. First and foremost, it's all about a potential cast member's story (both past and present). Although football is the backdrop, Undrafted is primarily a series about people trying like hell to make their dreams come true. Second, we factor in an athlete's talent for the game. Does he potentially have what it takes to make it into the league. Although these are the underdogs of football, we have to provide reasonable doubt as to whether our six athletes can make it. Otherwise... why watch?!
Do you think being undrafted makes a player better in the long run regarding their NFL career? Undrafted players are always under estimated. As opposed to the drafted player, our guys are often humbled by their situation when the third day of the draft rolls by without hearing their name. That situation breeds a person that (in our opinion) is more driven and is more determined to do whatever it takes to make a team. There's a hunger there that is difficult to ignore!
Are there any players that remain undrafted that have stuck with you as players who really should have been given contracts?Because we are not agents or NFL scouts, we would love for all of our athletes to get a shot on a 53 man roster. But the reality is that less than 1% of the nation's collegiate football players will play in the NFL. This statistic speaks to the tremendous odds our players face each season on Undrafted. I think every year we produce this show, we have several athletes that we believe will make it through the final cuts, but only the teams know their individual needs and who best fits within that framework.
Jeremiah Allison has great one-liners. Did you know he would make good TV when you cast him?
Jeremiah was born for this. Such a smart and well spoken young man. We definitely knew Jeremiah was going to be a great addition to the show this year, but we never truly know how any of our cast members will be on camera until we are filming with them over a period of time. He has definitely surpassed our expectations and has set the bar for future seasons.
What is your most memorable moment while filming Undrafted? It's difficult to choose just one moment when we've built so many memories with this Undrafted family. The athletes have opened up their homes, their hearts and have shared their lives with us, without inhibitions. The moment when Brandon Wegher (Season 2) gets invited to the panthers and is able to take his son to the stadium, hoisting him on his shoulders as they walk onto the field after Brandon's last pre-season game. Also, when Mike Bercovici (Season 3) gets the call from the Chargers and his dad bursts into uncontrollable sobbing while hugging his son. Years of dedication, hard work and unconditional support unleashed in an unforgettable moment. Also when Jakeem Grant (Season 3) gets drafted, the DREAM as his family calls him, seeing that moment and capturing those images of mom thanking God for this chance of a lifetime… I could go on and on… So many memories we have captured through the years.
Thank you NFL Network and Jeremiah Allison for taking the time to share your stories! The Undrafted television series can be seen on NFL Network Tuesdays at 8PM EST.
About Undrafted: Every year, thousands of college football players leave school with dreams of a career in the National Football League. Of those thousands, 256 players are selected in the NFL Draft. The remaining – the Undrafted – must convince coaches, executives, and the pro football community that they deserve a coveted roster spot on an NFL team. In its first season in 2014, Undrafted was nominated for a Sports Emmy in the prestigious "Best Documentary Series" category.