June 13, Rashaun Sligh made headlines in Philadelphia after meeting the legendary Vince Papale. Sure, I'm sure the free Philly Cheesesteak was great, but Sligh has bigger dreams. He wants to be the next Vince Papale story in the NFL.
Sligh, a former football player at Northeast High School and Temple University, always dreamt of playing for his hometown Eagles. Now, graduated from college without an offer, he is willing to do whatever it takes to make his dream a reality. That's why he stood outside the NovaCare Complex with a sign asking the team to give him a tryout.
Image Courtesy: Twitter
Sligh is more than just a man holding a sign, though, he is an athlete with a dream to play for his hometown team.
1. You’re a Philadelphia local. Have you always been an Eagles fan?
"I have always been an Eagles fan since I was a kid. Loved the birds and those glory years when we constantly were competing for an NFC Championship or Super Bowl."
2. Will you tell us a little about your football career at Northeast High School and at Temple University?
"I went to Northeast High School where I played WR. [I] had a solid high school career [and] ended attending Valley Forge Military Academy and College before transferring to Temple University."
At Temple University, I transferred fall of 2014. [I] missed my junior year due to transfer rules and spent some time homeless during the process. But I focused on training for my senior year. Unknowingly, I lost my senior year as well due to transferring, which hurt, but I kept moving forward as positive as possible."
3. When did you decide to sit outside NovaCare Complex each day with a sign? What inspired you to camp out for an opportunity with the Eagles?
"I wanted to make a statement. It literally just came to me one day. I told myself 'why not.'
My inspiration was knowing that one day I could change my life for the better, and if given the opportunity, I could do some good for this team and society."
4. Did you expect your story to get picked up by the media?
"I had no idea the media would catch wind the way they did. I was happy once it all happened but had no clue or even asked for the publicity."
5. What was it like meeting Vince Papale? What advice did Papale give you?
"It was great meeting him. He was extremely nice and told me to never let them tell me no. It was an honor to be named in the [same] sentence as him."
6. What would it mean to you to get a chance to try out for your hometown NFL team?
"It would mean the world to me. It would help me make this world a better place. Everything I want to do in life is contingent upon me making this dream become a reality."
7. Where does this determination come from? How has this determination helped you on and off the field?
"It's just the winner's quality. I've been down before so I know there has to be up. I've seen hell, so I know there has to be a heaven. I just want to be a great man for society and for my family. I believe through sport I can do that."
8. How was your workout with the Philadelphia Soul?
"The Soul workout was great. It felt great to compete again and [prove] to myself I can play this game at a high level. They decided not to sign me because I've never played arena before, but in the end, I have faith that a better opportunity awaits me in the near future."
9. How do you see your perseverance translating in the NFL or another professional football venue?
"I've been through so much, [and there] is not to much I have not seen or can't handle. I'll be prepared mentally, spiritually and physically for the grind of the NFL."
10. On CSNPhilly.com, you were quoted saying "I really do in my heart believe I can help the Eagles organization win some games." What would you bring to a professional football organization on and off the field?
"I have solid hands, consistent hands. [I'm] a large threat over the middle and in the red zone. I will not be outworked, and I'm hungry. That endless work ethic and the drive to be successful is what I'm bringing."
11. If you could say anything to Doug Pederson, the coach of the Eagles, what would you say?
"Why not give me a chance, coach? You have nothing lose, give me a chance to prove myself on that stage, and I won't let you down."
12. No matter what happens, how has this experience impacted you?
"I've put everything out there. No matter what happens, I'm a better person from it, and I have no regrets."
Though Sligh has not yet been signed, he is not finished chasing his dream. He still believes he will get a chance with the Philadelphia Eagles.
To see what Sligh has to offer, check out this video below and be sure to follow him on Twitter:
Big thanks to the team at Abstract Sports for helping us come up with some of these interview questions. If you are looking for an abstract take on sports, check out their website today!