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Denver Broncos taking chance on 28 year old rookie without game since 2009

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At this point in the NFL season franchises across the league are busy signing their recent draft picks to their rookie contracts.

But while the likes of Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dante Fowler are the focus of attention as the leaders of the class of 2015 there are other, more intriguing, rookie additions being made elsewhere.

Step forward the Denver Broncos who have this month taken a chance on a 28-year-old rookie who hasn't played a football game at any level since 2009.

As reported by ESPN, Broncos general manager John Elway himself broke the news to Karl Schmitz - a kicker with a British passport - himself, handing over a contract after being impressed at a recent try out both he and head coach Gary Kubiak attended.

Schmitz on seeing the duo at his try out:

"I'm like, 'Holy s---, don't drop the ball, Karl.'...I run over, introduce myself, shake their hands...I think I said something like, 'This is only the biggest opportunity of my life. It's no big deal. You guys don't worry about it.'"

Schmitz has only three games of college football to his name - taking 11 kicks in his brief spell at Jacksonville University - but has never given up on his dream in the years that have passed since.

Hard work pays off

Working full time to pay the bills, the Bermuda born player made sure he still clocked in the hours with late night sessions in the dark at his high school field.

"If I got off a shift at 2 in the morning, I would drive up to my (high school) field sometimes and turn my headlights on and just shine them down on the field."

He has worked with former NFL kickers such as Mike Hollis, Neil Rackers and Dave Brader down the years in a bid to impress league scouts and hone his talent. Now, after several work outs and near misses, he finally gets the chance to take that next step after the Broncos took a punt (excuse the pun) this month.

"At that point it's like I think the real work starts, you know?" Schmitz said.

"I've always envisioned myself up to this point. And they put you with every opportunity to succeed here ... you can't get complacent once that happens."

Challenges left ahead

John Elway made it clear recently that, in an ideal world, he would have just two kickers on his Denver roster. 

With Britton Colquitt (punter) and kickers Connor Barth and Brandon McManus already on board it will certainly be a fight for Schmitz to make the final roster. With a potentially opening as kick off man, and with a persistent character befitting of a pro athlete you wouldn't bet against him.

NFL fans: Any of you out there think you can still make it in the league? Let the Broncos know in the comments section below...

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