The Jets’ sixth-round draft pick certainly is feeling blessed to be selected by his hometown team.
The Jets took a chance on Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin, a Queens product who appeared in just five games over the past two seasons for the Scarlet Knights after twice suffering a torn ACL in his knee.
“I can’t explain the feeling right now just having the opportunity to be in this position right now after going through what I went through,” said Austin, who attended Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights. “I’m just thankful and I’m actually humble, too. But at the same time I have a burning fire in my chest right now that I don’t think can be put out as long as I’m playing this game.”
Austin, the 196th overall selection, admitted he grew up a Giants fan, but he joked “the switch over won’t be hard. At all.”
“I’m very excited that the Jets picked me and decided to pick me. I can’t ask for anything better than this situation right here,” Austin said. “It feels great to be on a New York team, a hometown team, being able to represent, being able to be close to home. It don’t get no better than this. It don’t get no better than this at all. Things happen for a reason, I truly believe they do.”
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The 6-foot-1 Austin initially tore up knee against Nebraska in the fourth game of Rutgers’ season on Sept. 25, 2017. He reinjured it in the team’s opener last season against Texas State.
Austin could have stayed another year at Rutgers on a medical redshirt, but said he declared for the draft because he “was ready to make this bet” and he doesn’t “regret anything at all” about his decision.
“Going through this knee injury after having some success and being so close to the pinnacle of my career and just being knocked down, it was hard to deal with,” Austin said. “But I’ve been blessed with perseverance and having an ability to go through adversity. That’s what got me here today.
“The fact that they were willing to take a chance on me and take me in the sixth round after going through what I went through, it only shows you my ceiling and my talent and the type of person I am as far as my IQ for the game. I’m very excited the New York Jets picked me.”
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