Former Saint Francis quarterback Nick Ferrer found out Tuesday morning that he has been invited to the Detroit Lions' rookie minicamp May 10-12.
“I am really excited for it,” Ferrer said at the Saint Francis football offices. “It has been a long couple of days (since the NFL draft ended Saturday) for the phone to ring. You hear from your agent about possibilities, but nothing was set in stone. I am just excited for a sure thing and a chance to compete.”
The reigning NAIA Player of the Year's tryout will be competing with three or four other quarterbacks for a chance to attend the team's training camp in August.
“They will be all in my situation, looking for an opportunity to stick around and get a signed deal for team camp,” Ferrer said. “You never know what's going to happen. You could get cut whenever during that camp, and you could get a deal right after. If you get cut, you have to look for another place and try to get another opportunity.”
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Ferrer threw for 4,195 yards and 39 touchdowns last season in leading the Cougars to their second straight NAIA national championship.
“My agent (Harold Lewis) actually contacted their GM (Bob Quinn) last night and asked for a favor and said, 'You need to check out this guy and look at his film,'” Ferrer said. “(The GM personally watched my film, and I got a call (Tuesday) morning. It's a quick business, but for me I am just glad to have an opportunity to prove myself, and Detroit would be a fantastic landing spot.”
With the Lions, Ferrer would compete for a spot behind incumbent Matthew Stafford.
“For a small-school guy, you just need a chance to compete and get your foot in the door,” Ferrer said. “Once you get your foot in the door, it's not big school, small school anymore; everybody is fighting for a spot. That's the kind of situation I thrive on.
“The Lions are a good fit for what they do, and for what Stafford does. The ability to push the ball down the field is something I do pretty well. It is a skill set of mine, and it is something they do a lot with Stafford's arm strength.”
Ferrer said getting repetitions at the rookie minicamp will be crucial in sticking around with the Lions.
“I know if I get the reps, I will show that I can compete and I do belong,” he said.
Ferrer said even if things don't work out with the Lions, other teams could also extend an invitation to a rookie minicamp or tryout.
“Some teams don't bring guys in until June,” Ferrer said. “But just to have an opportunity right now; ... the Lions are a team that has been in and out, for sure, and shown interest in me from the start.”
Note: Former Cougars receiver Seth Coate, who attended Arizona's rookie mini-camp last year, is expected to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League and report to camp on May 14.