Unexpected Reigned In 1994

Trev recalls confusing and eye-opening draft day experience

April 27, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com



Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts was the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. As the 2007 NFL Draft quickly approaches, Alberts recalls the experience of his big day that April afternoon 13 years ago.  


I remember thinking I was a fairly high pick, but my agent, Ralph Cindrich, just did a masterful job of preparing me and my family for just about anything that could happen.


I was invited to New York and I chose to turn down the invitation. So when I was invited to New York I kind of got the idea that I was going to be drafted fairly high because I didn't think they would invited too many people who weren't going to be drafted high. But I had no clue or early indication as to where I would go.




I remember sharing the draft day experience with family and friends and everybody was at my house in Cedar Falls, Iowa. There was a lot of anticipation, but I wasn't paying a lot of attention early in the draft because I was thinking I was going to be drafted somewhere around Nos. 12-13. And as you know, with 15 minutes between each pick, that can be a grueling process.


So we sat down, had lots of food, started watching it unfold as planned. Pick No. 2 was Marshall Faulk and No. 3 was Heath Schuler. At No. 4, it was a little interesting.


I was flown to New England when Bill Parcells was the head coach and Al Groh was the linebackers coach. I met coach Parcells, sat in his office and got a pretty early indication of how the NFL works and how it's a business because there was a point where Parcells looked me in the eye and said if I was available with the fourth pick they were going to draft me. So I didn't know how much to make of his "guarantee."


So at No. 4, I was available. I also knew Willie McGinest was available. All the draftniks knew they were interested in him as well and McGinest was drafted at that point. I remember talking to my agent at that time and he said there was some indication that the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers were interested in drafting me and he was hoping that I would get drafted later and go to a winning organization. At that point, we were hearing the 49ers were trying to move up to draft me. Then I got a phone call. At that time the team with the fifth pick was the St. Louis Rams and I couldn't have been more confused. I'm watching the draft, they're talking about St. Louis' needs and on the other end of the phone I hear, "Is this Trev Alberts?" I answer and they say, "We want to congratulate you. We're taking you with the fifth pick.


So with my whole family there in Cedar Falls, they're about to put my name up and I'm going to be with the St. Louis Rams, yet they kept talking and mention the Colts. My initial thought was someone was playing a trick on me. The Colts weren't on the clock. I was very confused while my family is hooting and hollering waiting for Chris Berman to announce the selection. Instead, Berman announces, "We have a trade!"


The Colts had moved up to the fifth slot and all the drafniks had surmised that the Colts were moving up to to take Trent Dilfer, who was still available and the Colts had just cut Jeff George. My family sees it's the Colts and they start booing. You have to remember they weren't the organization they are today.


I could sense some disappointment in my agent and I just remember being stunned that I was going to be a Colt. Right after that I went I remember going to the two different sporting goods stores in Cedar Falls and they didn't have Colts hat. I eventually found some old Colts hat, did a couple of local interviews and next thing I know I'm on a private jet to be introduced to the Indianapolis media.  


Everything I did was very deliberate going into that draft. That was just what I had been taught. I felt like I had paid the price, I was prepared and I wasn't all that anxious. I knew that I was going to be drafted fairly high and that it would be to a team with specific needs. I knew it was going to be a lot different than Nebraska and honestly I knew I was going to be suddenly wealthy. I can remember watching the draft as they said Big Daddy Wilkinson will be the most dominating defensive lineman of this decade and hearing those broad statements and it was the first time I really understood I wasn't playing college football anymore; I wasn't playing for my school anymore. I got a sense that this was a business. I was nothing more than a widget, a means to an end. It was like, "Wow. The fun's over. Now it's for real."


When the phone rang at five, I was stunned. I wasn't even paying attention. When I answered the phone and they said, "Hi Trev. This is so-and-so from the Indianapolis Colts." I was like, "Okay." They must have thought I was an arrogant, egotistical, maniacal individual - then again a lot of people think that anyway. I couldn't believe that I was going that high. People had me projected a lot of different places. I was kind of a tweener, an outside linebacker defensive endish type and teams either really love me or didn't like me all that much.


I remember I slept great the night before. I think it was because of my preparation. I just felt good about everything. I was together with the people I really cared about and I knew it was going to be a good day. This kid who graduated with 50 kids was about to get drafted in the NFL. I never even dreamed of it as a kid, it never really entered my mind. It just happened.