Tyler Ervin's journey to Green Bay is a little like a kick return: full speed ahead, obstacles flying in your face, and no one path to success.
"I think every guy has his unique individual path and mine was one where you just had to work hard," Ervin said.
Ervin played his college ball with the San Jose State Spartans, where he fought injuries all throughout the early part of his career.
"He didn't have a lot of muscle mass on him at that time and he's developed that since then," special teams coach Fred Guidici said. "So that's where he struggled early on and that's why he had some nagging injuries early on."
That didn't make a difference to Ervin, who ran for 1600 yards his senior season and now has his picture on the wall of the athletic building, right next to former Packer James Jones.
"He took care of his body like a pro," strength coach Gary Uribe said. "He became an extra guy after the lift, getting extra. He became a more guy, meaning he would come in on his days off."
Despite all that work, he found himself a free agent in late November this season, until the Packers came calling.
"I was super excited," Ervin said. "Its always been one of my dreams to play at Lambeau."
Things worked out for the Packers too.
The man they call Swervin' Ervin took over a historically poor kick and punt return game and helped turn it around, even giving his former coach some tips.
"He's helped me out with some special teams stuff too, so I pick his brain to say what are they doing in the big league?," Giudici said.
Now Ervin returns to his old stomping grounds, where he can help take the Packers all the way back to a Super Bowl.
"My family will be there and everybody's excited, but we got to go and handle business so that's the main goal right now." Ervin said.
Ervin's not the only connection the Packers have to San Jose State. Offensive line coach Adam Stenavich filled the same role with the Spartans for two years.
|Story By: Andrew Goldstein