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Bruno Reagan preparing to prove himself as undrafted free agent with Chiefs

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Bruno Reagan preparing to prove himself as undrafted free agent with Chiefs

Photo by Ray Li

Photo by Ray Li

Photo by Ray Li

Photo by Ray Li

Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Former Vanderbilt offensive lineman Bruno Reagan is used to being overlooked.

He was largely overlooked coming out of high school as he split time between football and wrestling. When Head Coach Derek Mason and the Vanderbilt Commodores took a chance on him in their program, he still had to wait his turn as a second or third stringer for the first part of his college career.

Last Saturday, Reagan was passed over entirely in the 2019 NFL Draft. But, he’s still getting his chance at the NFL level after signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

And like he has throughout his life, he’s ready to approach this new opportunity with the same gritty attitude that got him to this point.

“I think about that every second I’m awake,” Reagan told The Vanderbilt Hustler. “How am I go and prove it and make this team? Just go out, have fun, I’ve always had an attitude in practices and stuff, but I’m always focused on how to get better, how to do these things, and it’s just every second of every day. I’m going to soak it all in while I have this opportunity and while I’m in it I’m just going to give it my all.”

Reagan watched and waited through the third day of the NFL Draft last Saturday, and while he got some calls from teams throughout the day discussing draft and free agent plans, he still did not see his name come across the ticker. It was an unceremonious end to a rather lengthy and painful draft process.

“It sucks, I’ll tell you that,” Reagan said of waiting around on draft day. “It’s awful. I did not like any of the stuff at all. I was going to be happy regardless. The second it ended, I just wanted to be on a team and just get to work. Because obviously you’re going to look at the guys picked ahead of you and say why can’t it be me? It’s just one of those things. But, I’m going to minicamp and I have to go and prove it.”

The disappointment of draft day was broken momentarily when Reagan saw his friend and teammates Justin Skule get picked in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Even though he wanted to hear his name called, Reagan was thrilled for Skule to get a shot at the NFL, and even more thrilled that so many other Commodores got undrafted free agent deals, including Louis Vecchio and Dare Odeyingbo.

Photo by Emily Goncalves

That type of Vanderbilt representation in the NFL, particularly for offensive linemen, has been built on a number of other alums that have come into the league and proven their worth.

“We’re all going to get our shots at the NFL,” Reagan said. “That’s awesome for me, and it was laid by the foundation of guys that came before us, especially for me and Justin. We had guys like Spencer [Pulley], Will [Holden], just guys all before us that have gone into the league and proved themselves as offensive linemen. When I get calls from teams, they would tell me about Spencer. I had a call with the Chargers, and they were like ‘Spencer Pulley came in and did a lot of good things for us as UDFA.’ And it’s those kind of guys laying down the foundation that lets us get a reputation of putting guys out in the NFL.”

For now, Reagan will head to the Chiefs rookie camp that will be held over the weekend, and it will be his first chance to prove that he belongs on an NFL roster. He’ll also have a familiar face there with him in former Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who was also picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Chiefs. The two will get to reunite under center and be able to build on the chemistry already built from Vanderbilt.

“I was so glad I’m going to be there with someone I know, and for it to be Kyle is even better,” Reagan said. “Syncing is hard to do with people on the spot, with quarterback interchanges and stuff like that, so to have someone that I’m familiar with and me and Kyle spent a lot of time in the film room together watching film, just talking through things, so it’ll be good to have that resource there for me for this weekend.”

With the work cut out for him to make an NFL roster, Reagan will be able to draw upon all the lessons he’s learned from Mason and from Offensive Line Coach Cameron Norcross. In addition, Reagan will be able to draw upon the hard-working, dedicated attitude that got him to the cusp of the pinnacle of football.

Like he’s been his whole life, Reagan is ready for the challenge.

“I don’t think I would even have this opportunity without those two guys,” Reagan said of Mason and Norcross. “Coach Mason was the guy who gave me a shot at college football in the first place. I was not very good coming out of high school, but I was a good wrestler and they saw I had potential, so we gave me a shot. And then Coach Mason bringing in Coach Norcross, and he really pushed me. It wasn’t always easy. I have always been the kind of guy that was underrecruited, and when I got to Vandy I was always third string or second string. I had to fight my whole career, so it was just those guys keeping on pushing me. I’m really prepared for what I have to do at the next level.”

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About the Writer
Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Cutler Klein ('19) is the Sports Editor of the Vanderbilt Hustler. He previously served as Assistant Sports Editor. He is majoring in Communication Studies...

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