Central Michigan University defensive end Daniel Bazuin learned the value of hard work and…
Bazuin Now the Property of Chicago Bears
Three televisions set up in a pole barn were all tuned to ESPN's coverage of the draft. The second round was in progress and the Chicago Bears were on the clock.
Suddenly, a voice shouted, "Dan's on the phone with the Bears!"
Indeed he was.
On the other end of the line was Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith telling the former Central Michigan defensive end that he would be the Bears pick (62nd overall) in the second round.
For the tiny farming community of McBain with a population of 584 people, it was a night to remember as their favorite son had fulfilled his lifelong dream of making it to the NFL.
"It was the most awesome feeling in the world," Bazuin said about being drafted by the Chicago Bears. "Coach Smith said he was real excited to have me on the team. It feels better than ever to go to a team that's already an established winner."
The Bears are the defending NFC Champions and played against the Indianapolis Colts in this year's Super Bowl.
According to Bazuin, the Bears told him they like his motor and the way he plays. He said it's possible the Bears could eventually move him to defensive tackle.
"I'm going there with the attitude that I could play and contribute right away," said Bazuin, the Chippewas career sacks leader and 2005 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Bazuin said as the day began, the Atlanta Falcons seemed like the team that would take him with their pick in the third round. But the Falcons drafted Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson in the first round which meant Bazuin would most likely land with another team.
As it stands now, the Bears could very well have about 584 new fans in Michigan.
"Forget the Lions, go Bears," one well-wisher shouted.
"How many people are in McBain?" Bazuin asked. "I think they're all Bear fans now."
Bazuin was the second of a school-record three CMU players to be taken in this year's NFL Draft. Offensive tackle Joe Staley was picked in the first round (No. 28 overall) by the San Francisco 49ers, while center Drew Mormino was drafted in the sixth round (No. 199 overall) by the Miami Dolphins.
"It's huge (for the CMU program) to have a first and second round pick," Bazuin said Saturday night before Mormino was drafted. "It doesn't matter what school you go to, if you have the heart and desire the NFL scouts will find you."
The NFL scouts certainly know where CMU is located.
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