Schraeder Looking to Follow Tuggle’s Footsteps

Schraeder Looking to Follow Tuggle’s Footsteps

Jay Adams

Published August 6, 2013 at 6:13 PM

It was 1987 when an unknown linebacker from Valdosta State stepped on the field with the Falcons without any idea of the impact he would have years later.

Now in 2013, there’s a rookie who’s already taken a similar path, from Valdosta State to the Falcons as an undrafted rookie, yet his future is undetermined.

Jessie Tuggle led the way, and now Ryan Schraeder is looking to duplicate the journey.

“It’s definitely inspiration, knowing a guy, a hard-worker from a small school can go and become a future Hall-of-Famer,” said Schraeder, who has met the Ring of Honor member on several occasions. “He’s a huge inspiration.”

Schraeder has a long, long way to go to even making the roster, let alone fully completing the same circle Tuggle made in his storied career, but the rookie offensive tackle may be looking at an unexpected opportunity ahead.

Head coach Mike Smith said the favorite to take over the right tackle spot, Mike Johnson, was carted off the field during Tuesday’s practice. Although Smith didn’t know the extent of the injury after practice, Schraeder was given some extra work at the spot, along with Lamar Holmes and third-stringer Alec Savoie, another undrafted rookie out of McNeese State.

“I’ve been learning a lot every day, keeping me on my toes,” Schraeder said. “I feel like I’m getting better every day. That’s my mindset every day, just work on my weaknesses and do what I can do to help the team.”

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