Rob Henry is devoted to becoming part of the rich tradition of the NFL squad after inking a free agent contract.
The Guys, Tenn. native is slated to fly to Oakland Thursday and take part in the Raiders' rookie mini-camp Friday and Saturday. Henry, who played one year at Corinth High School before transferring to Trinity Catholic in Ocala, Florida, was among 11 rookies to sign with Oakland following the NFL Draft.
"Playing in the NFL is a dream so many kids grow up with," said Henry. "Just having the opportunity is a blessing."
Henry started seven of 11 games at QB for Purdue during the 2010 season. In 2010, he was the first Purdue QB in school history to lead the squad in rushing and passing.
After missing the 2011 season with a knee injury, Henry bounced back to finish his two remaining seasons at West Lafayette. During his career at Purdue, he played quarterback, safety and wide receiver.
Prior to the draft, six teams talked with the 6-2 athlete.
"All of them liked my athleticism and wanted to see what I could do," he said.
Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are set for late May and June while mandatory mini-camp for the entire roster is June 17-19.
"He has put in a lot of work and effort," said Henry's dad, Wayne. "It's not an easy road, but it's something we are all terribly excited about."
The former Mr. Football in Florida is aiming to make a mark on special teams.
"That's my best chance to be on the active roster," he said.
Henry had been working with former Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen, a draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons, prior to the draft.
"I got a hint my chance was going to be on the defensive side," said Henry, who will get his first shot to land a roster spot at safety. "I just have been working on technique, footwork and getting prepared mentally."
Oakland has won three Super Bowl Championships. Last season, the Raiders finished 4-12 under second-year head coach Dennis Allen.
"Oakland is a great organization with die-hard fans," said Henry. "It's kind of surreal knowing I am going out there in a couple of days and putting on the silver and black."