There is a man who sits outside the Philadelphia Eagles facility every day. He arrives at five in the morning and stays no less than 12 hours. This man has just one goal. He wants to play in the National Football League, and he wants to do so with the Philadelphia Eagles. Rashaun Sligh is his name. Football is his game.
Rashaun Sligh, a Philly native, has been outside the Eagles facility for a couple of weeks now. He holds a sign that reads “Rashaun Sligh just wants an opportunity to be an Eagle” in large letters. He is certainly going about getting into the NFL in an abnormal way. That’s the thing with Sligh. He hasn’t led a normal life. “Nothing in my life has been traditional. Why should this be any different?” told me.
Sligh is a former Temple player who lost his last two years of eligibility due to transfer rules and tough circumstances. He transferred to Temple in his Junior year, but couldn’t play due to the NCAA rules. Sligh struggled to pay for the school and the basic things in life. He found himself homeless during his Senior year at Temple. With no home, there was no safe place to study. His grades fell behind. Before he knew it, two years at Temple had come and gone. Sligh didn’t play a single down of football in that time.
Because he missed those two years, he has no agent and no current scouting tape. “With no college film, what do I have to lose? I had to find a way to make a statement,” slight told me in our time together. His statement has drawn national attention from various media outlets.
In fact, his story has become so widespread so quickly, that one of the most famous Eagles of all made a trip to see Sligh. Vince Papale, famous for becoming a Philadelphia Eagle as a walk-on and basis for the movie “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg, came out to meet Sligh.
“I didn’t know who he was at first,” Sligh told me. He said that Papale brought him some food, and left him with words of encouragement and respect.
His story hasn’t garnered just positive feedback. Sligh told me that he has had his fair share of negative comments as well. “Philly is the toughest sports town there is. People have told me there is no point (in standing outside the Eagles facility). I didn’t play in college, so I’m not gonna make it.” He isn’t letting that feedback get him down.
“I’m relentless. I’ll keep coming back again and again and again. My cause here is genuine,” Sligh stated. You could tell by talking to him that this wasn’t just for publicity. Sligh is going about this the best way he knows how with the resources he has available to him. “If you’re gonna try, you got to go all the way,” Sligh said.
Sligh is a wide receiver. Here’s some info on their WR staff, from The Inscriber’s Senior NFL Writer/Editor, Sean Naylor:
“The Wide receiver situation of the Philadelphia Eagles was once in a crisis. However, in the 2017 offseason, they have made some solid strides to improve this area. They went out a spent some good money on two free agents that should help the team’s offensive production tremendously.
Jeffery was an unrestricted free agent when the 2017 offseason began. He had several options from which he could choose. He ultimately chose the Eagles. I think this was the right choice for him based upon the youth of the offense. He can come in and be a leader and an established number one WR immediately.
Smith comes in and really makes the Eagles WRs a dangerous group. He is a number two receiver who has the ability to blow the top off defenses. He was underutilized in his previous two stops in the NFL. There is hope that the Eagles and Carson Wentz will be able to make him a valuable pickup. The Philadelphia Eagles are lacking in the slot area. Right now, they have Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor slotted in this position. Although, neither one is very strong at going over the middle. If there is room for a WR on the Eagles roster, it will be at this position.”
Whether you support Sligh in this venture or think it’s pointless, one thing sticks out. He doesn’t plan on giving up on his dreams anytime soon. That alone earns him a lot of respect in my book.
Follow Blake Cole, Senior Writer for The Inscriber, on Twitter (@blakecole) for more updates on Rashaun Sligh, and other happenings in the world of sports.