Rocky Mountain College football player Riley Garrett has his sights set on making it to the NFL.
Last week he received a letter that was an invitation to a nationally televised ESPN event that will take place on Dec. 15.
This event consists of some of the best college athletes in the nation trying out in front of NFL scouts.. The event is in a tournament-style setting. Garrett describes this as, “A great opportunity to show what I can do live and hopefully continue my football career.”
Garrett is currently a kicker for Rocky football and has been an integral player for the team. Last season he was the team’s highest scorer and this season, he has already earned player of the week twice, one of those times being on the national level. With these successes, Garrett believes it will give him a better shot at making it to the NFL. When asked about how kickers contribute to games, Garett explained, “A lot of games are won by three or fewer points, so if a kicker misses one kick in a game that could lose the game. They have to make the most of what they get.”
Garrett also explains where he is at in his NFL recruiting process. He and the head Rocky Mountain College football coach, Chris Stutzriem, have sent game film to NFL scouts. This helped Garrett receive the event letter. His next step will be waiting for scouts to contact him after he participates in the live tournament.
Garrett believes he has a legitimate shot at making the draft because, “There has already been a solid double-digit number of games in the NFL that have been won or lost by kickers, so the kicking is pretty inconsistent right now, so I have a pretty good shot to make it.” There are about one to two NAIA football players each year that get drafted to the NFL, making his invitation especially significant in the Billings community and NAIA as a whole.
It is not just the idea of the NFL that keeps Garrett motivated, but he also explains how football has helped him on the field and in his everyday life, “My coaches have put me more in a leadership position than I normally am, so I feel like that has opened me up in my personal life and be a better communicator.”
When talking about how Rocky specifically has made him the person he is today, he talks about how much the team and coaching staff has pushed him both mentally and physically. He did not have the starting position when he transferred to Rocky, so competing for this position was a great mental challenge that he got to experience overcoming.
In Garrett’s social life, he explains how (until Rocky) he felt he never really fit into a certain place. Football was where he fit best. Through playing the sport, he gained confidence that has helped him in all aspects of life. He believes football will continue to help him.
Garrett believes his success in football comes from, “Loving to win,” but he also made it clear that family is a very important part of his life off the football field. He explained how his mom’s side of the family is very large, so growing up, they all got together often. This made his bond with his family very strong. He also explains how he leans on them in times of struggle. This struggle could be in football, but also in general life. His family is just as excited as he is in his NFL recruiting process.