TEMPE, Ariz. — Kevin Ozier walked on to the Arizona State football team in 2009. He eventually turned that opportunity into a scholarship.
The Arizona Cardinals have offered Ozier a tryout. He has three days at Cardinals’ rookie camp to show the team’s coaches his skillset and potential.
“It’s just like at ASU,” Ozier said. “I’m starting from the bottom. Not known, undrafted walk-on. Basically it’s a tryout basis so I got to come out working harder than everyone and make the best of every opportunity I get to try to make a name for myself and stand out to the coaches.”
During his collegiate career, Ozier caught 55 passes for 847 yards and seven touchdowns. At times, he lived out of his car before earning a scholarship under then-first-year coach Todd Graham.
To earn a spot on the Cardinals’ roster, Ozier needs to stand out from fierce competition, even among rookies.
Although, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians admitted there is hope for undrafted rookies.
“We’re going to play the best guy,” Arians said. “I don’t care how you got here, when you got here, if you’re the best guy, you’re going to play.”
The Cardinals drafted wide receivers John Brown (Pittsburg State) and Walt Powell (Murray State) in the third and sixth round respectively in the 2014 NFL Draft. Additionally, the team signed wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. in the offseason to a three-year deal.
For Ozier, standing out from the pack entails catching every pass thrown his way and minimizing mistakes.
“People make mistakes and I hope I make less mistakes than the next man,” Ozier said.
One of the bigger adjustments for Ozier transitioning into the NFL is learning a more complex system.
“It’s a lot of plays,” Ozier said. “Tonight, I’m going to do a lot of studying. I still got a lot of work to do.”
After rookie camp ends on May 25, Ozier is hoping for a contract. Organized team activities (OTAs) resume May 27.