Getting the call: Phone calls that changed the lives of Valley players at NFL Draft


Sports Team 27 takes a look back at the calls that changed local players' lives as another awaits his this week

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday and it is a day that will change the lives of prospects and teams alike. Everything changes with a simple phone call, a call that players wait their entire lives for.

Some former Valley standouts have gotten that call, and Warren Harding graduate Lynn Bowden is hoping his call is just days away.

“When I first saw it, I was like, Lake Forest area code, I am like, it has to be Chicago,” said Harding graduate James Daniels after being drafted.

Just two years ago, Daniels got his call, going in the second round, 39th overall to the Bears. Joining his brother and father’s footsteps, making an NFL roster.

“Of course we have good genetics,” Daniels said in 2018. “Good size on the line and stuff but it shows a lot for my dad, for me and my brother. He raised us right, taught us the right things and I mean, just teaching us little things as kids has gone such a long way.”

Just three years ago it was New Castle and Ohio State product Malik Hooker getting the life-changing call. Going 15th overall to the Colts, the first Red Hurricane to go in the first round in 37 years.

“I mean, it said Indiana so I knew it was the Colts,” Hooker said moments after being drafted. “At that time, I was just so shocked because I never in a million years did I think I would be a top-15 draft pick. And only playing one year of college football. So for me, it’s just so crazy for me.”

Now, the NFL and the Valley’s eyes are on former Warren Harding standout Lynn Bowden. One of the most interesting players in the draft who says he has been getting multiple calls a day from NFL teams. He says when he gets THE call on draft day, it will be a dream come true.

“Man, it is going to be emotional,” Bowden told Sports Team 27. “I just know it is. The whole house, wherever I am will be emotional. Man, I can just tell now, just with the way I have been feeling the last couple days. I felt me getting emotional, so I am getting myself ready to be emotional.”

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