This time last year, Florida Atlantic wide receiver Lester Jean never thought he would be playing in a post-season all-star game.
However, with solid performance comes reward.
On Saturday Jean will play in the 86th Annual East-West Shrine Game, marking the first time ever that a player from the program will participate in the contest.
ďAll of this is just surreal to me. Itís just a blessing and Iím happy that God has given me an opportunity to accomplish all these things,Ē Jean said of the opportunity.
While taking part in the game has some meaning, the biggest goal all week long for the talented pass catcher has been to gain the attention of NFL scouts, in hopes of becoming the second Owl ever to be selected in the draft.
Thus far, Jean has fared well while going against some of the nationís top seniors in practices leading up to the event, and gaining attention from numerous draft websites and gurus who have highlighted his potential.
Even though he will be the only player from the Sun Belt Conference to take part in the game, the level of competition hasnít posed any concerns.
ďIt doesnít intimidate me. We played every big team you can name at FAU, so itís just been good to see these guy's work ethic and how talented they are,Ē Jean said.
While working against other participants, he has noted the skill-level of other players. But more importantly, how well his time at FAU has prepared him for this moment.
"Iím just as talented as they are and so are all my other teammates at Florida Atlantic. Iím just happy that God has let me represent FAU,Ē Jean said.
Saturdayís game marks the first step in a long journey through the draft process for Jean, which includes the NFL Scouting Combine, training at Ignition APG in Naples, Fl, and FAU's on campus pro day.
But, of significance, it will be the last chance for him to don an Owls helmet unless he can garnish a late Under Armour Senior Bowl invite.
"Iím very thankful for FAU giving me an opportunity, and Iím trying to represent FAU as much as possible", Jean said.
The East-West Shrine Bowl will air on the NFL Network tomorrow with a kick-off time of 4:00 p.m.