When University of Michigan player Jon Runyan, Jr. was picked by the Green Bay Packers during this weekend’s NFL Draft, he was texting and accidentally declined the team’s call when they called to confirm the choice.
Runyan, who became Green Bay’s sixth-round pick on Saturday, told the media that he was texting his agent at the time the Packer’s called his cell phone, and he accidentally hit the ignore button declining the call.
He joked that he immediately panicked, ESPN reported.
“I declined a call from Green Bay, Wisconsin,” Runyan exclaimed. “I tried to call back, and my call didn’t go through, and I had no idea what I just did.”
Fortunately, the team called back a few seconds later.
The 22-year-old Runyan comes from NFL stock, so going into the big league will constitute a family tradition. His father, Jon Runyon, Sr., played pro football for 14-years spending the most of that career with Philadelphia Eagles before running for office and serving two terms as a New Jersey congressman.
The newly minted Packer fondly recalls hanging out in the locker rooms when his father was with Philadelphia and when he wound up his career with the Tennessee Titans.
“Going in the locker room, I got to be around guys, Hall of Famers like Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens,” Runyan said. “Those guys really changed the Eagles franchise and made it into what it is now. Just idolizing them and seeing how much work I put in kind of through the viewpoint that I got, being around them, and looking up to them and my father and one day wanting to be them, that helped add motivation and passion and drive to what I was doing. Growing up with my father in the NFL has been a blessing. I know he’s looking at me right now, and he’s happy.”
Right now, Runyan says he just wants to focus on this great opportunity in football and is not worried about what he might do afterward. After the NFL, his father went into politics for a short time, though Runyan says dad didn’t like the politics part of the job.
“My dad, he’s really big on public service,” Runyan said.
“That’s the thing he really liked about being a representative, but he did not enjoy the politics side of being a congressman; that’s why he got out of it,” the player added. “You could see the stress on his face whenever he’d come home after a month or two. He loved helping people, but he really did not like dealing with all the politics of it. I just think I’ll observe politics from afar, for sure.”
Jon Runyan, Sr. served two terms as a Republican congressman, and now works for the NFL as vice president of policy and rules administration.
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