Eagles' Jurgens shares his crazy draft day story


Plenty of NFL players say their draft experience was a whirlwind.

Cam Jurgens means it.

The former Cornhuskers center and his family gathered around the TV at his family home just outside of the small town of Pickrell, Nebraska, for what they assumed would be an exciting night watching Jurgens get drafted. They got a little more than they bargained for.

“Oh my God,” Jurgens said this week. “It was wild, man.”

Because about 10 minutes before the Eagles used their second-round pick (No. 51 overall) on Jurgens, everyone’s phones in the house began to vibrate. They were smack dab in the middle of a tornado warning.

Shortly after that, the 22-year-old Jurgens got the call from the Eagles and began to celebrate with his family when they heard a loud thunder boom.

That stopped the party.

“I’m like, ‘OK, we have to go downstairs now.’ So we all started going downstairs,” Jurgens said. “My grandma doesn’t walk up and down stairs very well. So we’re like, ‘You need help going downstairs?’ She was like, ‘Nah, it’s been a great night. I’m not moving.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s like ‘Ahh, whatever.’ I’m like, ‘Jesus!’

“It was kind of hilarious. Just a funny story from the night. I think I’m going to remember that for a long time. It’s just like excitement and also chaos of a tornado and thunder and lightning and hail coming in. It was crazy.”

Eventually, the warning subsided and Jurgens and his family were able to go back upstairs to rejoin grandma, who never left.

And Jurgens gained a pretty unique draft day story that he got to tell at Eagles rookie camp late last week.

While it’s a unique draft story, tornado warnings aren’t all that unique to Jurgens and his family. They live in southeast Nebraska, right in the middle of Tornado Alley. He said they get a lot of warnings, a few close calls and have even lost the shingles on their roof before, but the house is still standing.

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Nebraska is hit with an average of 57 tornadoes per year, fifth most among the 50 states.

“I feel like a meteorologist up here today, guys,” Jurgens said on Friday . “This is great.”

Aside from storms and natural disasters, Jurgens also said he’s looking forward to learning the ropes from veteran center and potential Hall of Famer Jason Kelce. Kelce, 34, played a role in the Eagles’ drafting Jurgens and sees a lot of himself in the rookie from Nebraska.

But Jurgens and Kelce won’t take the field together until later this month. This past weekend was just Eagles’ rookie camp, so Jurgens was snapping the ball to undrafted free agent Carson Strong. But really, those days are mostly about getting the rookies acclimated to the facility, their new teammates, the playbook and the city.

It’s a lot.

What have the first few days been like?

“It’s been exciting,” Jurgens said. “A little bit of a whirlwind.”

He ought to know.

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