Every kid or parent who ever strapped on the helmet had the dream. The one where you see that ultimate goal of stepping onto an NFL field and being one of the best. While one in a million will live the dream many chase it. One local guy this year is closer then he has ever have been to seeing that happen.
That guy is none other then All American Defensive Tackle Myles Wade. The Central Catholic product has fought his way through adversity after adversity including the death of his Mother Lori Wade and the long circuitous road he had to take to get here. That road includied stops at Arizona Western JC, Portland Community College, Texas Tech, and Portland State. And while the road has been long the one thing he never did was quit.
Something most guys would have done a long time ago especially after falling from an All American and top recruit to a virtual unknown. But for those watching and those paying attention his continual rise to national prominence has been no surprise.
Out at New Level Athlete in Vancouver, Washington Coach and Training guru Ryan Paul has seen it all unfold for Wade and he shares his perspectives.
"Myles is someone I trained as a young guy and watched grow into one of the finest athletes in the Region. He just finished and amazing season at Portland State and trained with us the entire time since he returned to Portland last Summer. To see him doing the things he is doing now is so rewarding," said Paul. "I have no doubt he is ready to play in the NFL and he should be one of the real finds for some lucky team this season."
Paul talked about Wade's intensity and strength. Myles has repped over 40 on the 225 Pound Bench Press (one of the best in the nation) and is able to move massive amounts of weight when he wants to. But it is his explosiveness and ability to last through long physical demands that set him apart.
We caught up to Wade after his performance at the NFL Open Combine at the Texans Indoor facility in Texas last month where he was a top performer.
"It was a great showing for me. There were over 200 defensive linemen there working out for the scouts and I know I came out as one of the top guys. After the event I was contacted and invited to the Super Regional Combine in Detroit on March 30th so I will be looking to hit that one hard," said Wade who is remaining humble and hopeful about his prospects.
His efforts in Houston were noticed big time as the 6'1", 310 pounder turned in one of the fastest 40 times at 5.14 and his 32.5" vertical leap spoke well of his explosion and quickness. He also had a 4.60 shuttle which also showed his lateral ability. These times and his upper body strength have him at an elite status in terms of the numbers.
Wade laid out his other plans for us, "On March 14th there is a Pro-Day at Stott field at Portland State I am going to perform at and there will be some scouts there. Then I have a few private work outs as well. There is some real interest in me building and I know I can compete athletically and on the field with anyone in the Draft this year."
One thing is for sure. His resolve has been solidified by life itself. Adversity is his breakfast cereal and the young man from Portland is so much more then a football player. He is 1/2 way done with his Masters Degree and is conversant in Mandarin Chinese among other things. He also volunteers his time at local youth camps and is a huge supporter of Special Olympics supporting his little sister Olyvia who has Downs Syndrome.
We will not be surprised at all if Myles Wade is drafted on draft day in April and for a kid who did not take the normal path to the NFL that would be huge! One way or another he is going to get his shot.
"I believe I have proven myself and will continue to do so any opportunity I am given. So I am very hopeful the outcome will be a good one," he concluded.
Myles Wade has an agency representing him and the buzz in the internet is that Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Dallas are all paying attention to what he is doing. We wish Myles nothing but the best and have every confidence that he will realize the dream.