While the biggest football game most of us at Harvard look forward to every year is Harvard-Yale, Kyle P. Juszczyk ’14 has his hopes on playing in the Super Bowl. Juszczyk, a former tight end for the Harvard football team, was drafted into the Baltimore Ravens last year and has returned to campus this semester during to complete his bachelor’s in economics during offseason. We caught up with him to ask about his life as an NFL player and an Ec concentrator (but mostly about being an NFL player)!
Flyby: "Can you tell us a little bit about how you got drafted, and what the experience was like?"
KJ: “After the season [in 2012], I got invited to an all-star game, the Senior Bowl in Alabama. Then I got invited on 12 different pre-draft team visits, where teams fly you out to their facilities and you meet their coaches and they interview you and stuff. And then drafting finally came, and my family and I had a big draft party at my house back in Ohio and some of my teammates came out. We kind of waited for a call, and at the end of the 4th round, I got a call from a Baltimore zip code and then I knew right away that it was the Ravens, and I answered and I was so happy. The whole process was really unique and stressful at times, but obviously it all paid off and it was rewarding.”
Flyby: “Do you ever get starstruck by any NFL players, and if so, whom?
KJ: “No, not so much. Now that I’m an NFL player as well, you know, I try to go in there with a professional attitude. Once you’ve hung out with big names like Joe Flacco and Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs, anyone else doesn’t really shock you. Even like when I met Tom Brady, it was just like meeting another guy.”
Flyby: “Do you have a favorite teammate?”
KJ: “I guess if I were a fan, and not a player, of the Baltimore Ravens, I think I would choose Jacoby Jones as my favorite player just because he’s hilarious and he has the best touchdown celebrations.”
Flyby: “What team did you root for growing up?”
KJ: “I was a Dallas [Cowboys] fan.”
Flyby: “How was playing football for Harvard like?”
KJ: “It was a really good experience. It’s different playing a varsity sport at Harvard because we’re asked to do a lot academically and doing a sport on top of that is really a lot, but you learn how to get through things and basically just get stuff done when you have a lot on your plate.”
Flyby: “So how has it been juggling being a student at Harvard and an NFL football player?”
KJ: “It’s been a little different transitioning and getting used to the college life again, you know being in a dorm and attending lectures and doing homework. But, you know, it’s kind of nice because, unlike a lot of seniors looking for jobs, I don’t have to worry about that. I just have schoolwork to catch up on, so I don’t have to divide my time searching for a job.”
Flyby: “How do you feel about d-hall food?”
KJ: “You know what, I kind of like it. I don’t understand people not liking it a lot. There’s a lot of options, and if you want to eat healthy, you can do it really easily in the dining halls. I actually like it.”
Flyby: “And for all the freshmen that recently got housed, what are your thoughts on getting Quadded?” (Juszczyk lives in Pforzheimer House)
KJ: “When I first found out, I was pretty upset. My roommate actually even cried. But after living out here for the past three years, I love it and I’m glad I got Quadded. I like being kind of away from everything and when I want to get involved with anything I can always just choose to go down to the Yard. It’s kind of a nice little getaway.”