INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Danny Pinter inked his rookie deal earlier this week for a four-year, $3.2 million deal from his home state of Indiana.
From South Bend Adams High School, to Ball State University, he had always dreamed of getting “the call” during the NFL Draft weekend, but he never thought he’d get picked to stay home.
“Just to think about, you know, Indiana is the only state I’ve ever known. Um, I’ve lived here my whole life, like football here in my whole life. So I mean it’s kind of surreal in some ways,” said Pinter.
Ball State Football Head Coach Mike Neu couldn’t have been happier to share the moment with his former star.
“I kinda let out a bleep yea! And threw my fist in the air when one of the Colts scouts texted me saying they were getting ready to take Danny right here,” said Neu. “And then when I called Danny on the phone, we couldn’t even say anything. He was crying. I was crying. We could barely get words out.”
How did Pinter go from being a local long-shot to earning a spot on the Colts roster? Well, he gives his credit to good timing. Pinter said he can’t imagine where he’d be if the Cardinals hadn’t hired Coach Neu, who is a former NFL coach and scout, and knew exactly what to do with Danny Pinter.
“Danny had one Division I scholarship offer and that was to Ball State,” Coach Neu said. “He was a tight end for three years, and then we made the transition with him. We had a sit down with Danny and said if you embrace this move, you could certainly have a future beyond the college level.”
Pinter put on 50 pounds and made the move to right tackle where he started every single game for the next two seasons.
“I’d like to think in some way I’d get here. It might’ve been a different path, but I think that switching the offensive line was definitely the best move for me,” Pinter added. “It’s interesting to look back and wonder what if, if I hadn’t made that switch.”
That switch will no longer leave him overlooked. Pinter will play on Sundays and gets to study under one of the best offensive lines in the country.
“It’s definitely not something I take lightly. You know first talking about Ball State. I still feel like I’m indebted to them,” Pinter said. “It definitely translates over the Colts. I wanna make the most of this opportunity for them, for giving me that chance and just prove to them it was the right decision.”