As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, this year's NFL draft has brought me two happy surprises.

The first surprise (I admit I was so hoping for it) was to see Jeremiah Trotter Jr., the son of the legendary Eagles player Jeremiah Trotter, being selected in the draft. It feels like a beautiful full-circle homecoming for him, as I remember his father holding him on the field after victories.

The second surprise is equally exciting. As a lifelong Eagles fan who has spent most of my life in Upstate New York and deeply appreciates the area and its people, it’s exciting to know that Jalyx Hunt, an athlete who once played for Cornell University, will be joining my team. I can't wait to cheer him on as he represents both Cornell and the Eagles.

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Jalyx's football journey began at Cornell University, where he defied the odds as an unranked prospect and climbed through the ranks. Starting as a safety, he played in seven games during his freshman year in 2019 and recorded three tackles. Unfortunately, the following year, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the season and interrupted Jalyx's progress.

Looking for new opportunities, Jalyx made the decision to transfer to Houston Baptist University, which later became Houston Christian University, in 2022. He made a transition to the defensive line and quickly made an impact. In 2022, Jalyx earned recognition as a second-team All-Southland Conference player. He showcased his skills by leading or tying for the conference lead in categories such as tackles-for-loss, sacks, and forced fumbles.

Jalyx's impressive performance continued in 2023, earning him the title of Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-American honors. Over his two years at Houston Christian, he accumulated impressive statistics, including 133 tackles, 20.5 tackles-for-loss, and 13.5 sacks. Scouts took notice of his exceptional skills, which led to an invitation to the prestigious 2024 Senior Bowl. Jalyx became the first player from his school to receive this honor and one of only four players from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to receive an invite that year.

With his selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2024 NFL draft, Jalyx has proven his ability to overcome challenges and rise to new heights. As an Eagles fan, I will be rooting for him not only because he's joining my team but also because of his connection to Cornell and his ties to this area that I love so much.

30 famous people you might not know were college athletes

Stacker dug deep to find 30 celebrities who were previously college athletes. There are musicians, politicians, actors, writers, and reality TV stars. For some, an athletic career was a real, promising possibility that ultimately faded away due to injury or an alternate calling. Others scrapped their way onto a team and simply played for fun and the love of the sport. Read on to find out if your favorite actor, singer, or politician once sported a university jersey.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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