Persistence sometimes pays off, big time.
Just ask Jake Metz, the Soudertown High School graduate turned Division II football star turned Arena Bowl champion.
"It's amazing," the defensive end said Tuesday at the NovaCare complex. "I grew up here in Philadelphia so to win a ring with the Soul, and get to play with the team of my dreams for the next couple games is amazing I am on cloud nine."
Not more than a day after the Philadelphia Soul won the Arena Bowl, Metz was ready to keep it going and said he got calls from several teams to walk on and work out. Not surprisingly, the Philly kid chose the Eagles, and Tuesday morning he was standing on the sidelines next to Connor Barwin and Fletcher Cox.
"I was up until maybe 2 or 3 [o'clock] last night just staring at the ceiling excited to practice," Metz said. "I got here early this morning.
"My play on Thursday will show, and everything I do will prove if I can make it on the team or not."
Metz expects to play a great deal Thursday against the Jets with most of the Eagles roster sitting on the sidelines, as is customary for a Preseason Week 4 game. His chances to make the team are remote, but the opportunity is one he won't squander.
"I am going to do everything I can, I am going to be the first guy here and last guy here," Metz said. "I have so many friends and family who have gotten tickets to the game."
Out of Shippensburg University, Metz went undrafted and had workouts for a few NFL teams but nothing panned out, leaving him to settle for the AFL. In 2016 he was the league's defensive lineman of the year.
So to Metz, the chance is a long time coming, and a reward for his decision to stick with football.
"I think I should have made a team to be honest," the 25-year-old said. "I had the drive the whole time and I think my persistence is what got me here. I am not worried. I am ready to play."