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Archer keeps a chip on his shoulder

Posted May 18, 2014

Running back/wide receiver Dri Archer didn't have a lot of options coming out of high school, but things are different now.

There was a time when Dri Archer wasn’t sure if he was going to have the opportunity to play college football, let alone make it to the NFL.

Coming out of Venice High School in Florida there wasn’t a lot of interest from colleges, no recruiters banging his door down offering him scholarships.

That was until Kent State came along. And they pretty much waited until the last minute to give Archer what would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Kent was the only school that gave me a shot and chance to play at the collegiate level,” said Archer. “I obviously took it and ended up having a great career.

“Kent came on pretty late. I took a visit like in January. Everything happens for a reason. I took what they offered me and ran with it.”

He ran all the way to the NFL, thanks in part to his blazing 4.26 40-time that he turned in at the NFL Combine.

Archer was drafted by the Steelers in the third round, going from a high school kid that nobody seemed interested in, to a running back/receiver that could have an impact on offense and special teams in Pittsburgh.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Archer. “I worked for this for a long time. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. To be able to reach my dream is a great feeling. All I can thank is the man above.”

Archer’s size, 5-8, 173 pounds, is what he feels deterred some of the bigger colleges, but it never deterred him. He caught 99 passes for 1,194 yards and 12 touchdowns in 21 games at Kent State. He ran for 2,342 yards on 325 carries with 24 touchdowns and added four kickoff returns for a touchdown.

“I used nobody else offering me a scholarship as a chip on my shoulder,” said Archer. “I always play with a chip on my shoulder and try to show the world what they missed out on. Kent was lucky enough to have me on their team. There are always going to be people that doubt you. They tell me I am too small. I am too short. I am not going to be able to play college football and I did that. They told me I wouldn’t make it to the pros and I got drafted. I just play with a chip on my shoulder now to try and prove everyone wrong.

“I like being told those things. It motivates me. It makes me want to grind harder and try to motivate myself.” 

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