Football: BC's Bordner reflects on NFL tryout

Josh Bordner simply describes the last few years as a "rollercoaster ride."

A standout career as the Century High School quarterback led to a collegiate career at Boston College.


Four years serving as a backup signal-caller for the Golden Eagles turned into a fifth season where Bordner became the team's leading receiver.

And now, the latest stop for the former Knight has him trying to enter the National Football League.


Last weekend, Bordner was one of 31 tryout players, and 59 total players, attending a Detroit Lions rookie minicamp in Allen Park, Michigan. The camp started on May 7 and lasted four days.

"It was a great experience," Bordner said. "It made me feel that I definitely do belong, just getting out there and competing with guys again. Competing against guys that I felt I could keep with, it kind of gave me closure that I can belong in that league."

Bordner, listed as a 6-foot-3, 244-pound tight end, found out he would be invited to the Lions' camp shortly after the NFL Draft ended May 2. It wasn't an official contract, but rather a first opportunity for Bordner to try to break into the league.

Bordner said he heard the news from Detroit tight ends coach Ron Prince. At the camp were all of the Lions' first-year players — ones they drafted, ones who were signed as undrafted free agents, and ones like Bordner who were there for tryouts, as well as some second-year players.

"It was drills, really learning the playbook was the main thing," Bordner said. "Then we had 7-on-7s and then we did team stuff, regular offense, defense. We were only in helmets, but we were getting after it."

This past season, Bordner excelled in his first year not playing quarterback at BC. He led Boston College with 342 receiving yards and three touchdowns, also helping the Golden Eagles earn a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in December.

"After not playing really that much for four years, and then switching to a new position, I really had no idea what to expect," Bordner said. "To say that this is kind of unexpected, it really was, and I'm excited how it turned out and I'm just looking forward to everything."

Last weekend's minicamp didn't result in a contract offer from the Lions to Bordner. However, the 2010 Century grad knows that it may not mark the end of his football career.


Perhaps more so than in the past, undrafted players have found ways to succeed in the NFL, such as Texans running back Arian Foster, and Patriots cornerback and Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler.

So while Bordner may not have a job in the NFL right now, he said he knows he isn't giving up yet. And that there perhaps is another high coming on the "rollercoaster ride" that the last few years have brought.

"It's kind of a wait-and-see thing," Bordner said.

"Players get hurt all the time, so it's just wait and see what happens. You can really get called at any time, so you've got to be prepared and stay in shape."