CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals’ Kyle Soelle ‘blessed’ to get chance with hometown team

May 13, 2023, 9:15 AM | Updated: 11:28 am

Kyle Soelle speaks at rookie minicamp...

Arizona Cardinals LB Kyle Soelle speaks with reporters after the first day of rookie minicamp on Friday, May 13, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Former Arizona State Sun Devil Kyle Soelle was among the many hopeful prospects that didn’t hear their name called during the 2023 NFL Draft last month.

After making his mark at ASU, it was a disappointing development in the linebacker’s football career.

But it was far from an end to the road.

Not long after the draft concluded, a familiar area code popped up on the phone with an offer to return back to the Valley as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, Soelle’s hometown team, as a rookie free agent.

It was a “no-brainer” for the LB, especially with former ASU coach and current Cardinals assistant Robert Rodriguez on the other end of the call.

“Hometown guy, hometown team, it’s really just a dream come true and I feel really privileged to have this opportunity,” Soelle said Friday.

“It’s every kid’s dream to want to play for their hometown team, but just to get a chance in the NFL, I’m really excited.”

Unlike other rookies on the roster, Soelle walked into the training facility well versed in the franchise’s history.

He grew up rooting for his new employer and remembers watching Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald do their thing during Arizona’s run to the Super Bowl in 2009 well — even if he was just 9 years old.

“You just get a little more energy when you’re from the hometown and a little more pride wearing that Cardinal red,” Soelle said. “Every day when I get to put on Cardinals gear, I feel really blessed and privileged.

“Just trying to find my way on this path and just learn how to be a pro and do the best I can to help this team.”

Given where the roster stands, opportunity is there for the taking for the inside linebacker.

Zaven Collins, Kyzir White and Isaiah Simmons figure to see the bulk of the action at linebacker in 2023. But beyond those names, there should be snaps up for grabs.

And if he can prove to be an asset on special teams, that could go a long way in securing a roster spot.

That’s not to say it’s going to be an uphill battle for the ex-Sun Devil, who will battle with fellow rookie Owen Pappoe and a handful of veterans for roster spots and reps.

Luckily for Soelle, he’s got a couple of former Cardinals and fellow Saguaro High School alums in wide receiver Christian Kirk and cornerback Byron Murphy to lean on as he embarks on his NFL journey.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a little relationship with both of those guys and just asked them for advice for this next level,” Soelle said. “They just said have a pro mindset, just go in, do the work and be a pro and do the best you can to help the team. I’m looking forward to having that mindset moving on to the future.”

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