In April of 2011 Chris Hairston was just another college football player sitting at his home with his family and close friends by his side just watching and waiting.
He watched and watched and watched as player after player was drafted ahead of him until he finally received the biggest call of his life. ”With the 122nd pick the 2011 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills select, Chris Hairston, offensive tackle, Clemson.”
It was a dream come true for Hairston. It was also something he didn’t think would ever happen to him. “I never thought I was good enough to be here in the first place,” said Hairston. “It’s what drives me.”
Last year, Hairston was forced to come in for an injured Demetress (formerly Demetrius) Bell in week four and played well in the left tackle spot. Unfortunately, he suffered the same fate as the man he took over for and suffered an injury that forced him out for the season.
Fast forward to this off-season. Hairston was able to have his first full NFL off-season after not being able to do so because of the lockout last year. He said that having it “back to normal” was great for his rehab.
“I was able to get my body back to 100% from being thrown into a NFL season without team workouts, OTAs, and mini-camps,” Hairston said.
Hairston continued to say that he’s spent most of the time off rehabbing from a “very minor surgery” that he had done after the season ended. He also got away from everything by spending as much time with his family as possible.
Now that football is, sort of, back, Hairston is preparing for a role he never thought he would be in, especially this early in his career — NFL starter. “It’s definitely a situation that I wasn’t expecting to be in this early,” said Hairston on being the starting left tackle heading into camp. “It’s the nature of the business. Rosters are ever changing, and I’m just the benefactor of the current situation.”
Although he is currently pegged into the starting left tackle role, the fact that the Bills drafted Cordy Glenn this past April has a lot of people speculating that he will surpass Hairston for that starting job. However, it’s not something that Hairston is too worried about.
“All I can do is prepare myself and be the best ball player. I know if I’m able to do that the rest will take care of itself,” he said. “God’s favor has kept me here and opened doors for me that I just have to take advantage of.”
credit BuffaloBills.com and Getty Images for photos