By David Yarger
This past weekend, the NFL held its annual draft, selecting over 200 players from college programs across the nation. Lucas Gravelle's name wasn't called, but the Niagara-Wheatfield High School graduate will still get a chance to play in the NFL.
On Sunday, Gravelle was signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent.
According to the Niagara-Wheatfield Athletic Department, they couldn't recall the last time a Niagara-Wheatfield graduate was picked up by an NFL squad.
Gravelle, a long snapper, played high school football with the Falcons up until 2012. Gravelle then went on to long snap at Erie Community College in 2013, was a red-shirt in 2014 and after finishing his associates degree, he attended Niagara County Community College for a summer program. Following that, Gravelle ransferred to Washington State for the 2015 and 2016 season. Gravelle started 26 games, including two bowl games. After being promised a scholarship for starting and not receiving one, Gravelle then finished his college career at Texas Christian University, the No. 9 ranked team in the country.
Gravelle said TCU reached out to him with a scholarship after he posted several videos online to promote his abilities and let schools know he was transferring from Washington State.
At TCU, Gravelle served as the long snapper in 14 games, including a 39-37 Valero Alamo Bowl win versus Stanford, and was tied for fourth on the team with three special teams tackles.
Gravelle said his career has been a crazy ride, but he's happy to see his dream come true.
"My senior year of high school we lost every game, I went to college with no offers and it's been a long journey.
"It was important to keep a positive mindset. I went 2-15 in two years playing on some bad teams. I just continued trusting everything and if you believe it enough, then everyone else will," he said.
Gravelle was also excited to put N-W on the map in a positive light.
"It's important to me," he said. "I don't even know the last player from Niagara-Wheatfield to make it to the NFL.
"It shows that there are athletes in Wheatfield. Some people think there aren't. If players are willing to believe in themselves they can do it. I hope this helps put Wheatfield on the map for the future."