No matter what happens from here on, David Andrews will have realized his dream.
The recent Georgia graduate started his first NFL game as center for the New England Patriots Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That he got there from Johns Creek as an undrafted free agent makes his story that much more amazing.
“It was a great environment, the fans were awesome and it’s something I’ll always remember,” Andrews told the Boston Herald.
The Patriots’ starting center, Bryan Stork, is on the injured reserve list with a concussion and neck issue. Ryan Wendell, who also plays center but had offseason shoulder surgery, was on the inactive list.
That made way for Andrews. A three-year starter for the Bulldogs who was called “Boss” by his coaches and teammates, he was not invited to the NFL combine. But he had a private workout with New England coach Bill Belichick during Georgia’s Pro Day last spring and was invited to the Patriots’ camp.
His start did not come as too much of a surprise as Stork missed most of preseason camp and Andrews started all the preseason games.
“I just knew I had to be prepared and ready to go,” Andrews said. “I just prepared all week, prepared as if I was starting and my number got called.”
The Patriots won 28-21 as the Steelers scored their last touchdown with two seconds remaining.
“It was great,” Andrews said. “Now I’m just ready to make the corrections, learn from it and move on to Buffalo.”