Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is in with a chance of making the Cleveland Browns season roster despite the fact he never found interest at college level.
In 2016, he attended a junior college and played as a kick returner. However, he didn't receive a scholarship from Phoenix College and had no interest elsewhere. The following year he did a trip to all Big 12 schools but failed to find a suitor. Then he decided to go pro.
Initially, he set aim for the CFL or Arena Football League. That proved unsuccessful. So the 24-year-old decided if at first you don't succeed, and don't succeed once more, aim higher. Sheehy-Guiseppi went for the NFL.
As he outlined in an interview Cleveland.com's Scott Patsko, the hopeful youngster heard about an NFL workout in Miami. Of course, he didn't have an official invite or pass to access the workout. So he researched and found out that the vice president of player personnel was a man called Alonzo Highsmith.
The security almost turned him away.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi. I'm here for the tryout."
"Do you know Alonzo?"
"Yeah, I know Alonzo."
As soon as he got in, he searched for Highsmith and introduced himself, so that it seemed to everyone else that they knew each other: "I just knew I had to make it look like we were friends."
The audacious bid paid off. His handling skills were brilliant and his 40 time was 4.38, which would've put him in the top six wide receivers at the 2019 NFL combine.
It was enough for the Browns to invite him to a try-out. Sheehy-Guiseppi went on to explain that due to a lack of funds he had to sleep in his car or 24-hour gyms while preparing for his trial.
General manager John Dorsey has since hailed him as "very determined," and added him to the 90-man preseason roster. He's now bidding to make it as a special teams returner or specialist for next year.
The story of Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi (@damon015) talking his way into a @Browns tryout is everywhere now, but the dude is a legit talent. Check out a clip from his highlight reel from Phoenix College. https://t.co/lIPTqoaPN1 pic.twitter.com/ZV8Hu6lOc9
— Mitch Carr (@mitchcarrtv) May 30, 2019
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi has the finagle of the year locked up with his path to the Browns Camp.
Hadn’t played since 2016 at a Juco school.
Went to a tryout and got in because he said he knew a Browns Exec.
Performed well enough at the tryout to get a Browns invite. (4.38-40) pic.twitter.com/HIyEG0hrRX
— Bootleg Fantasy Football (@BootlegFantasy) May 29, 2019
Similar tales have happened in sport previously. Graeme Souness' Southampton famously lined out with Ali Dia after receiving a phone call from a man purporting to be George Weah with a tip-off. There was also the famous Carlos Kaiser, who enjoyed a decade-long career despite never playing a game.
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi chance of making it onto the final season squad is unlikely, but that hasn't stopped him yet.