Ryan Grigson has never had it easy.
The 1990 Highland grad and former Purdue lineman had been called a "coach on the field" since he began playing competitively because of his ability to break down the game and judge its personnel.
When injuries cut his playing career short, Grigson began working his way up the ladder at all levels of the sport in hopes of landing a front-office position.
On Wednesday, the Colts named the 39-year-old Grigson their new general manager.
"I couldn't be more excited being back in my home state," he said. "My goal is to bring great things back to this organization.
"I love football. I love scouting. I love people. I'm good at what I do because all these things come natural to me. I'm in a good place."
Grigson was the Philadelphia Eagles' director of player personnel since 2010 and had spent nine years with the organization.
"It was a long extensive process in learning who the best man was and we got our man," team president Jim Irsay said during the 35-minute news conference.
"It's an 'intuitive' decision. I picked Ryan because he's a riser, a guy who had a vision and who'll continue to get better as a general manager as we move along."
Irsay said Grigson was chosen from among "25 to 30" candidates to replace the fired Chris Polian.
The Colts were 2-14 this season, playing without injured all-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning.
"There was something special there, even after five minutes," Irsay said of first meeting Grigson. "Something 'immediate' told me he'd be a serious candidate.
"Ryan has great knowledge and experience in building a football program and that's where he gives us the edge."
Grigson was quick to add it's too early to make any decisions about coach Jim Caldwell's future and that of his staff, or whether or not to pay Manning a $28 million bonus by March 8 or have him become an unrestricted free agent.
He has yet to sit down with Manning but did meet Caldwell earlier Wednesday.
"I just got here," Grigson said. "So many things I need to go over. It's frivolous for me to comment about anything and I'm not about being frivolous."
Grigson attended Our Lady of Grace parochial school in Highland and still has family here.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to take a breath soon but it won't be for a couple of days. I haven't quite wrapped my mind around it yet," he said.
"I have my whole family here. (The Colts) took such good care of me. My 88-year-old grandmother, Francis, God bless her, is here and was so instrumental in me being where I'm at.
"She's all about hard work and not wanting any of the credit. She's been a phenomenal role model for me," Grigson added.
Younger brother Dru, a 1996 Highland grad, is currently a Midwest scout for the Arizona Cardinals.
"After my family drove down, they ran into a restaurant and were yelling for them to put the right station on so they could watch the press conference," Ryan Grigson said.
"We got the regionites down here full force."