AL HAMNIK: NFL dream fading like a sunset for Munster's Kwateng

2012-11-27T17:00:00Z 2012-11-28T18:20:22Z AL HAMNIK: NFL dream fading like a sunset for Munster's KwatengAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 27, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

If a National Football League career were easy to achieve, we'd have 64 teams in 10 divisions and a week-long draft.

Dreams are not guaranteed, and the thought of playing pro football is just that, regardless of what you accomplished in college.

Munster's Prince Kwateng came close to realizing his life-long dream but has since moved on — leaving just enough wiggle room in case his agent calls with good news.

Kwateng played linebacker at Northwestern, had a solid career there, but was undrafted. He had a brief stint on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad, watching from a distance their Super Bowl year.

He then enjoyed a short but productive career in the United Football League and now runs his own internet company at Karmagiftlist.com.

With the rash of serious injuries in the NFL this season, you'd think Kwateng might get another look-see, but his phone has been silent.

"I've been blessed with having a great family and support staff, being able to start this internet company, and with the different paths I've taken in my life," Kwateng said.

"Of all the people who play football in high school, very few play for high-level programs in college or sign an NFL contract. I had a foot in the door, at least."

Kwateng still makes time each day for training and conditioning in case someone needs a scrappy 6-foot-1, 240-pound backer who loves to hit.

His confidence remains as high as ever.

"Actually, I was the first defensive captain chosen when the (UFL) was created and that's quite an accomplishment, especially being a rookie then and without any pull," Kwateng said of his time with the California Redwoods, who later became the Sacramento Mountain Lions.

"To have Dennis Green as my coach, Daunte Culpepper at quarterback and to hold my own ... I'm thankful for all the opportunities I had and being able to take advantage of them."

And he did, jumping on each like a loose fumble.

"I've always had the mindset that I had to work  for what I want," Kwateng said. "I wasn't just a star at the beginning. I had to work at it in high school. In college, I was at the bottom once again."

Looking back, he played ball for some coaching heavyweights — Leroy Marsh at Munster, Randy Walker and Pat Fitzgerald at NU, Sean Payton with the Saints and then Dennis Green.

"Even if I don't play football again, I'm so thankful for what the game has given me," Kwateng said.

Thankful is right. It beats the heck out of watching from the couch in your man cave.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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