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NFL Draft: Stevenson just waited for a team to call his name

Kate Gales | Tuesday, May 2, 2006

It’s not a glamour job to be an offensive lineman.

For former Notre Dame offensive lineman Dan Stevenson, that’s quite all right – he got his call to go to the NFL, anyway. The New England Patriots selected Stevenson Sunday in the sixth round of this weekend’s NFL Draft with the 205th overall pick.

But Stevenson was torn deciding what to do in anticipation of his selection.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to watch [the draft],” he said Monday. “But I found myself glued to the television, which I would have thought I never would do.”

The Irish offensive lineman and Barrington, Ill. native called the draft “the longest process.” But for Stevenson, who looks forward to going to New England, it was worth the wait.

“When the Patriots called me, that phone call, it’s definitely hands down the team I wanted to go to,” he said. “I couldn’t have been more excited.”

Irish coach Charlie Weis is a former offensive coordinator for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a connection not lost on Stevenson.

“The offensive system will be very similar to what we ran at Notre Dame,” he said. “I think it’s a great situation for myself and hopefully I can go in there and help out the Patriots as best I can.”

Stevenson will start to develop his role on the team soon, as he leaves for New England in less than two weeks.

“It’s going to get a little stressful,” he said. “I found out [that on] May 12 I have to leave and I’m pretty much there for the next two months.”

But he’s saving worries for later.

“I’m trying to ride the wave of excitement right now,” he said. “I couldn’t be more excited about this.”

The Patriots have won three of the past five Super Bowls and finished last season 11-7 with a loss to Denver in the second round of the playoffs. Despite his Chicago heritage, Stevenson thinks his friends and family will start to root for New England.

“When I came to Notre Dame everybody was all of a sudden a Notre Dame fan,” he said. “I hope the same for the Patriots.”