Evan Rodriguez may have been drafted by the Chicago Bears over a month ago in April, but he hasn’t had much free time since then.
The Bronx native who went to High School in New jersey, spent time at Iowa State and Temple, and will be heading to Chicago soon for workouts with the Bears.
“The grind doesn’t stop. DeFranco is a great guy. You come here to work, so he is going to get the best out of you every day,” Rodriguez told Jared Ginsberg of Class Act sports, while training at Joe DeFranco’s Gym in New Jersey.
Rodriguez could have gone anywhere to train, but he chose to stay close to home.
“DeFranco is a great guy, a loyal guy. I am lifting with the top athletes in the NFL, and the top guys that are going from the next level from high school to college. It is good to surround yourself with guys like that,” he said.
Rodriguez was a team captain at North Bergen High School, where he played safety and quarterback for legendary coach Vin Ascolese. He watched his former team win the State Championship back in December.
“Playing for Coach A was the best. He is a great coach. Grandpa, I call him. He’s been there for a while and he is a living legend. He is more than a football coach- he is like a father figure as well. Being from North Bergen at that game, it was a tremendous feeling, even though my year we didn’t win it, seeing them win it was a relief like, ‘He did it he is going out on top,” Rodriguez said.
Ascolese announced that he would retire after the 2011 football season, and went out winning the title. Rodriguez said he learned a lot from his former coach.
“Heart of a Bruin. You gotta blood sweat and tears, nothing is going to come easy to you. Especially coming from Hudson County, hardnosed football powerhouse football, where all the top contenders are,” he told Class Act Sports.
Amidst the training, Rodriguez is ready for that next step, in the NFL.
“I’m excited, a little nervous at the same time. I gotta produce now. It is a business. I have to hold my own out there and just do what I’ve always done my whole life,” he said.