After Los Angeles drafted John Franklin-Myers at No. 135 overall, the defensive end tried to find some Rams gear to represent his new team.
There was, however, a problem: Franklin-Myers was back in Texas with his family. And there was no L.A. hat or t-shirt to be found.
So the incoming rookie patiently waited two weeks, then walked into the team facility on Monday and excitedly found exactly what he'd been longing for waiting for him in his locker.
"You get drafted and you want to put on a hat or something after. But we looked all over and there was nothing. So finally I got some stuff," Franklin-Myers said this week. "Hopefully I can send a shirt or something back to my family."
In some ways, seeing his locker for the first time represented the pinnacle of a long, unlikely journey. But in others, Franklin-Myers feels like it's just the beginning.
"It's a dream come true that I'm able to be a Ram and come back to L.A. where I was born," he said. "But it's just the start. I haven't made the team yet."
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That's a mentality that comes from Franklin-Myers overcoming plenty just to make it to the league. In high school, for instance, the 6-foot-4, 283-pound lineman never won a game.
It's almost hard to believe, but Greenville High School went 0-40 during Franklin-Myers' time at the program.
"It was really frustrating," Franklin-Myers said. "You go and as someone — it means a lot to me to play football and this is what kind of kept me out of trouble my whole life and got me where I'm at now. Every step you take guys may not have the same interest as you in football and may not take it seriously as you. So, that was a little frustrating and just not clicking together during the games. I mean the whole thing was frustrating, but there's good and bad things in everything. I needed that to get me to where I am right now."
And even as Franklin-Myers was recruited to play football at the next level, going winless as a high school player followed him.
"A lot of schools said I was undersized. I was a little small. They didn't know I would gain weight — I got to college and I gained 35 pounds in three months. They also said, 'I couldn't win a high school game so what makes you think I would help them win a game?'" Franklin-Myers said. "I mean, it's understandable — now I see it when I'm older. At first, I was mad about it but, again, it makes me who I am today."
Those situations could have easily diminished Franklin-Myers' passion for football. Instead, they only served as fuel for his fire.
"I would just say that I knew I wanted to play college football and I knew I wanted to go to the NFL. That was always my dream," Franklin-Myers said. "Some guys that's not their dream and that's fine, we all take our different paths in life. That was my dream, so I did everything it took to get here and I'm going to continue to get better every single day."
That mindset fits right in with what head coach Sean McVay has implemented in Los Angeles, with a process focused on daily improvement and daily excellence. For Franklin-Myers reaching the NFL is an accomplishment, to be sure. But it hasn't left the young lineman satisfied.
"I'm not happy with just being drafted. That doesn't mean anything," Franklin-Myers said. "To me, becoming on the team, helping my team to win a Super Bowl, becoming a starter here in the future — all that stuff is stepping stones in my career. And I won't be happy until I retire and my kids, kids, kids — a generation of wealth is what I'm looking for. I'm able to do that with this opportunity."