GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) You can count it on your hands. Just eight players will hold the team's interest and in turn get in time as a member of the practice squad. Defensive lineman Ben Garland has done just that.
"I'm happy to be here," he said. "If I can be out here, the longer I can stay, shoot if it's on practice squad it's on practice squad, but i'm going to work as hard as I can every day to make this team."
Garland signed with the Broncos in 2010 as an undrafted rookie from the Air Force Academy, but just a few months later he was faced with the decision to fulfill his first dream of serving with the US Air Force. So he traded in his jersey for a uniform.
"Ben's goal was to get in the Air Force," said Vern McGee, Garland's high school coach at Central High School. "He wanted to get in the Air Force Academy, and so we talked about being a 4.0 student, being disciplined, working hard in the weight room, and making himself a better football player, and never had a problem with Ben."
That character transferred well on and off the field. After serving his country for two years he came back ready to pick up where he left off.
"I grew up loving the Broncos, and to actually be able to come out here and put that Broncos helmet on? A dream come true," he said.
Garland proved you don't have to come from the top school in the country to peak interest.
"It doesn't matter where you're from, they can find film on you, so it doesn't matter," said McGee.
"I came from Central, wasn't that good, kind of clumsy, and I've been able to come here working as hard as I can every single day," said Garland.
And now that Garland has found his way onto the practice squad for a second straight season, he knows his chance at fulfilling his second dream is on the horizon.
"I'm going to work as hard as I can in everything I do, whether it's special teams, whether it's offense, whether it's defense, I'm ready to go. I'm ready to play and ready to work for the Broncos."