January 1, 2021, is a day Chris Blair will always remember. It’s the day his NFL dreams were fulfilled.
“I had just woken up on New Year’s Day,” said Blair, a former standout wide receiver for the Alcorn State University Braves football team. “My agent called me with the news. It was an amazing feeling.”
The Green Bay Packers signed Blair to a reserve/future contract for the 2021 NFL season. Blair played two years at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, before playing two years at Alcorn. In 2019, he ranked No. 6 in the nation in yards per reception (21.2) and led the Braves with 931 yards while scoring seven touchdowns.
Signing the contract has motivated Blair like never before. He’s eager to train and learn from seasoned veterans to become elite at the professional level.
“Green Bay is a great team. I’m most excited about the opportunity to learn from Devante Adams, who is one of the best receivers in the league. I’m looking forward to learning from the guys that have had success in their NFL careers. I want to be the best.”
Although excited about entering the league, Blair anticipates the challenges that await him.
“It feels good, even though I know that the mission isn’t complete. I have a lot to learn, so I’m ready to work.”
The pandemic affected the draft stocks of many players, Blair included. Despite adjusting to a new normal, Blair continued to stay in shape and have faith in a year where playing football, for him, wasn’t an option.
“It took hard work, sacrifice, and patience. COVID-19 took a toll on my draft process and made it hard to be seen by NFL scouts. Sitting out of football for a year was tough, but I knew that patience was a virtue. I continued to work out every day and pray. God did his thing.”
The Braves’ championship victories were a testament to Blair and his teammates’ play on the field and the leadership of their coaches. Blair credits Head Coach Fred McNair and his staff for instilling hard work and professionalism into the players.
“Coach McNair and his coaching staff prepared us to be professionals. They never let us become complacent as a team or as individuals. The staff always expected us to come out and work hard every day. That made it easier for us on Saturdays.”
Faith, prayer, and perseverance are what kept Blair focused on his mission. He encourages others to apply these methods on their journey to success.
“Don’t give up on your dreams. There were times when I questioned myself and wondered if I were good enough. I had to remember my goal of paving the way for those behind me and show them that anything is possible. I had to realize that God has his way of doing things. When God opens a door, no man can shut it. He comes first, so be patient and continue to work hard.”