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Rob Gronkowski wanted to stay in Arizona, be drafted by Cardinals

Former New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski looks to the crowd before the game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Former Arizona Wildcat Rob Gronkowski will be at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday for Stadium Blitz, an obstacle course event his foundation is putting on.

There was a time he wanted to be in the Valley long-term.

On Tuesday, Gronkowski revealed to Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that he wanted the Arizona Cardinals to draft him with the 26th pick in 2010.

“I loved being in the state of Arizona … I was praying that they would take me because I wanted to go there,” Gronkowski said. “I felt like they needed a tight end and they brought me in for a little visit.”

“Gronk” was coming off a two-year Wildcat career in which he had 75 receptions for 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns with a 2008 Las Vegas Bowl victory, Arizona’s first bowl appearance since 1998.

At the time of the draft, Cardinals had tight ends Anthony Becht and Stephen Spach.

“I took a visit there and everything, I could tell they had no interest in me,” Gronkowski said. “I could tell, the people that brought me in, they were just bringing me in to bring me in.”

Becht was released prior to the first game of the season and Spach, who played fullback and tight end, was rarely used in the passing game.

The Cardinals selected defensive lineman Dan Williams with their first round pick. Gronkowski was selected at No. 42 by the New England Patriots and dominated for the decade.

While he won’t be donning a Cardinals jersey anytime soon, Gronk will be showing off his athleticism at Stadium Blitz. The 5K obstacle course has 15 events that test participants’ speed, hustle, strength and agility.

Activities include hurdles, stair climbs, climbing a 20-foot net, weight sleds and throwing a football through a target.

Early registration costs $85 for adults and $35 for kids. Children as young as 7 are allowed to participate. Rob’s brother, Glenn Gronkowski, said on Doug & Wolf that with the promo code Gronk40, participants can get 40% off.


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