By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s one of the most anticipated weekends of the year for football fans. The NFL Draft kicked off Thursday night and will run through Saturday.

Marshall, Minnesota native and quarterback Trey Lance was selected third overall by the San Francisco 49ers. And a few more Minnesotans could hear their name called before it’s all said and done.

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“Originally, my dream was to go to the NHL. I loved hockey,” said Tommy Doyle.

Spoken like a true Minnesotan. But it wasn’t long before Doyle realized his future was football.

“It’s something that’s pretty cool about football is the camaraderie. The relationships you are able to form and to bond,” said Doyle.

He starred at Edina and then played left tackle at Miami-Ohio, earning all-conference honors while helping his team win the Mid-American Conference in 2019.

Last year, COVID shortened their season making it harder for NFL scouts to get a read on players. Doyle played in just three games, but he had a good pro-day and he’s projected to be drafted somewhere around the fifth round on Saturday.

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“It’s kind of crazy. Me and my dad were sitting up here last night watching round one. It’s kind of surreal. This is draft weekend, it’s here, this is something I’ve grown up watching. And now to be a part of it and have this opportunity, I’m super grateful for it,” said Doyle.

A watch party at his dad Tom’s house promises to be filled with excitement and nerves. Tom is a former Gopher pitcher and Tommy’s mom Krista played volleyball for the Gophers. They are familiar with the spotlight, just not like this.

“We are just kind of ready for him to know where he is going. Hopefully, he gets drafted. I think he should and it’ll be fun to finally find out where he is going with all this uncertainty,” said Tom Doyle.

A couple of days of uncertainty is the price Tommy Doyle’s willing to pay, to fulfill a life-long dream.

“I’m just trying to enjoy this experience and see what happens and control what I can control,” said Tommy Doyle.

He has done a number of Zoom interviews with teams interested in drafting him. Doyle doesn’t necessarily have a preference as to who picks him, he’s just honored to potentially play in the NFL.

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John Lauritsen