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2016 NFL Draft: Saladeem Major, TE, Temple has paid his dues -- literally

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Let's learn about the young man's story.

Saladeem Major makes a reception for the Temple Owls
Saladeem Major makes a reception for the Temple Owls
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Saladeem Major may or may not get an opportunity to pursue his dream at the NFL level. The former Temple tight end, though, does have a story of perseverance worth knowing about.

Major didn't get any scholarship offers from Division I schools when coming out of high school. He went to prep school in Cincinnati that got shut down in the middle of his first football season there. The Cincinnati Bearcats came sniffing around, until head coach Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame.

Major eventually hooked on at Clark University, a Division II school but left there as a sophomore when the coach got fired. He ended up back home in Philadelphia, and ended up as a walk-on there. Major paid his own way to play for the Owls, who didn't have a scholarship to offer him. He played in 24 games over two years. He caught only eight passes, but when he scored a touchdown last season his teammates and head coach were jubilant.

"Is there a better story than Sal Major?," asked Temple head coach Matt Rhule.

Here is a little more of Major's story.

On his journey to get to Temple and, hopefully, beyond.

"I'll keep sacrificing. There's no turning back. I'm gonna come in there and work, earn my keep. ... I definitely will appreciate this and will continue to make me a humble person, as every situation I've been in has done."

On what would it mean to be an NFL player.

"It would mean so much. Looking back at everything, it paid off. All the sacrifices that I've made. Everything's coming together to achieve that lifetime goal that I always wanted to achieve.

On his skill set.

"I'm pretty multi-dimensional. I can play tight end with my hand in the dirt, set the edge, I can be in the backfield as a fullback, hybrid tight end, I can split out to the slot, run routes."

On why should an NFL team give him a chance?

"Because I can do more. I can do a lot. I can play special teams. I've been doing it all. My film will tell you."

On who he models his game after.

"Jordan Reed the tight end from Washington, I analyze his game a lot even though I feel like I can block better than him. I really like how he's used. He's athletic enough, he can do a lot. He makes a lot of mismatches and makes a lot of coaching jobs easier."