FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Someone finally picked up the phone to call Jeremy Chinn.
On the other end of Chinn’s phone line during the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 24, the Carolina Panthers were busy congratulating their new draft pick.
“It is a dream come true,” Chinn said. “I have always loved this game since I was a little kid, and I have always wanted to compete at the highest level possible. Now, I have that opportunity to perform in front of thousands of fans in those big stadiums.”
Before Chinn could even dig up his old Fishers High School look for a “throwback” post via Panthers’ social media, a blessing from NFL royalty came down.
“Charles Woodsen tweeted, ‘Jeremy Chinn is looking like a steal’ … Tyrann (Mathieu) said, ‘I like this kid Chinn he has some dog, and Ryan Clark, he made a few tweets earlier in the process,” Chinn remarked glowingly.
At Fishers High School, the only thing certain for Jeremy Chinn was the lack of attention around his playing career.
A tiny NCAA Division I program, Southern Illinois (FCS), helped make him a star at safety.
Chinn’s work ethic helped create an identity at strong safety that was confirmed at the 2020 NFL Combine in February. One of the NFL’s top safety prospects in 2020 was a Saluki.
“How big of a long shot” coming out of high school? Chinn said. ”I was begging for one star, one half of a star, if I could get one. Any type of interest, from anyone. Looking back, it is something I was really kind of stressed about as a high schooler.”
“Hard work has definitely paid off since then.”
The scouts didn’t whiff the second time around.
If only they listened to the man who these days, is just trying to fight back tears.
“You (Jeremy Chinn) deserve this opportunity and it is not just because of your athletic skill, but because of your character and your ability to focus on what is important,” Chinn’s former Fishers High School football coach Rick Wimmer said. “Those things are going to serve you well.”
Chinn and Carolina — a call — we can all cheer about.