In Blaine they proudly wear their Borderite black and orange, but now they’ll find some room for a little Honolulu blue and silver in the closet.
Former Blaine High standout Andrew Price signed a rookie free agent contract with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, one of three mid-training camp signings by the team, joining offensive lineman Connor Bozick and defensive end Giorgio Newberry.
Price, a 2012 graduate of Blaine, enters the NFL after spending four seasons playing for UNLV (2013-16). During his career with the Runnin’ Rebels, he played in 45 games, catching 37 passes for 445 yards and four touchdowns, and was known as a strong run blocker.
Price, who earned a degree in kinesiological sciences, was a four-time All-Academic Mountain West pick and was selected to the 2017 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, so learning an NFL playbook this late in camp should be doable for the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder.
Price was hoping to get drafted in the late April NFL Draft, but didn’t get the call.
“Being drafted doesn’t make or break you,” Price said in April. “It’s not the end of the road. ... I’m thankful for the opportunity to even have teams think about drafting me. It’s such and honor when you consider I came from a small town like Blaine. Just to get a chance to go in and compete with some of the best athletes in the world, it doesn’t matter how you get there.”
After the draft, Price got a tryout with the Tennessee Titans in mid May, but it wasn’t until Wednesday that he got to sign an NFL contract.
Price, who will be wearing No. 47 according to the Lions’ website, is currently one of eight tight ends listed on the Lions’ depth chart, behind Eric Ebron, Darren Fells, Cole Wick, Michael Roberts, Khari Lee, Robert Tonyan and Tim Wright.
“It’s pretty crazy when you think about it,” Price said in April. “I’m going from Blaine, a high school that had 400 kids in the halls, to possibly playing at the highest level. I’m really excited for this opportunity.”
Detroit’s next preseason game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19 vs. the New York Jets, and it will wrap up the preseason by hosting the New England Patriots (Aug. 25) and traveling to play the Buffalo Bills (Aug. 31). NFL Network will replay the game against the Jets at 11 p.m. (PDT) Monday, Aug. 21, and 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23; the Patriots game will be replayed at 9 p.m. Aug. 25, 1 p.m. Aug. 26 and 1 p.m. Aug. 30; and the Bills game will be replayed at 11:30 p.m. Sept. 3.
The NFL has only one cut down deadline this year – 1 p.m. (PDT) Sept. 3. For the record, the Lions will not play the Seattle Seahawks this season.