Former Sacramento State football tight end T.J. Knowles and defensive back Ryan McMahon will get a chance to play professional football.
Although neither was selected this past weekend during the NFL Draft, Knowles and McMahon were invited to the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers mini camps, respectively.
Last season, Knowles received all-Big Sky Conference honorable mention with 38 catches for 381 yards and five touchdowns.
“I never really I had an opportunity to play at the next level,” Knowles said. “I’m excited to get out there and show them what I can do.”
Although Knowles got calls from both the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals, he said he was hoping he would go to Kansas City because he felt more comfortable with them, having already attended one of their private workouts.
Before coming to Sac State, Knowles played for the University of South Florida and Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.
At Saddleback, he finished with all-conference honors, catching 49 receptions for 927 yards and seven touchdowns.
“College football taught me perseverance,” Knowles said. “A lot of things get thrown at you and you have to deal with tough situations.”
McMahon also received all-Big Sky Conference honorable mention and has 183 career tackles since his arrival at Sac State in 2010.
He said he is thrilled to be a part of a historic program like the Green Bay Packers and although he was disappointed that he was not drafted, he knew the plan was to be patient and wait until somebody called.
“There are a lot of good players that weren’t drafted from both big schools and smaller schools,” McMahon said. “I wasn’t really nervous, but I knew why I didn’t get a call until the day after (the draft).”
Last season, he was second on the team with 50 tackles and finished with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception, but McMahon said his road was not easy.
From 2008-2010, McMahon played at USC and led the Trojans as a sophomore in special teams tackles.
As he moves on to the next stage of his career, he said he is grateful for what he has learned at Sac State.
“The best thing I could have done was be the best player I could be and a leader of the defense,” McMahon said.