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Grand View players ready to prove they belong in the NFL

Despite going undrafted, the NFL dream is still alive for three Grand View Viking players.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The chance of making it to the NFL is .2 percent according to the NFL Players Association. A majority of that .2 percent consists of players from Division I programs.

With the chances of becoming an NFL player already slim, those chances shrink even more when coming from an NAIA program.

"There's a lot of guys at the NAIA level that have that chance," said Viking linebacker Nate Wieland. "You know, it doesn't seem like it just because it's not that Division I level. So it doesn't get the popularity that it deserves."

When Grand View receiver Anthony tuner got the news from his agent that the Green Bay Packers were interested in signing him, he almost couldn't believe it.

"It really hasn't hit me yet that I got the opportunity," said Turner. "It hasn't hit me yet. It'll probably hit me as soon as I get there."

Tuner said this opportunity is the result of years of hard work and he's eager to prove he belongs in the NFL.

"It means the world to me because this has been a dream of mine since I was three years old," said Turner. "I've just been working and trying to get there. So, now that I'm here, I still feel like I haven't made it yet. So, I still got that chip on my shoulder. That just comes from me being hungry and willing to work."

Nate Wieland signed with the New England Patriots. While making it to the NFL was always his dream, he didn't think it could even be a real possibility until a couple years ago.

"We had a lot of scouts come to our practices, come to our facilities," said Wieland. "So, luckily I got to talk to some of them through that. Sitting down and talking to them throughout last year and this fall, they hinted at like you have talent that can be there. You have a possibility that you can really make it."

Both Tuner and Wieland know how rare it is for non-Division I players to get these opportunities. But despite the odds being stacked against them, it hasn't stopped them from working to turn their dream into a reality.

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"Talent is talent," said Wieland. "If you have it, they'll find you. You know, I truly believe that, especially now. I hope this is a turning point for a lot of people getting recruited who say division one or I'm just not gonna play sports at the next level."

"It really just feels good to really put on and show that you really can be in this position, too if you just work hard and don't get stuck in that lower level or NAIA mindset, or that mindset of oh, I'm at a small school, it can't work for me," said Turner. "It can work for you. You just gotta change your mindset."

Former Grand View cornerback Dallis Flowers also signed with the Indianapolis Colts as undrafted free agent.

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