How does a second-team All-Ivy League defensive lineman and calculus tutor from Canada find his way to an NFL roster in Los Angeles in the midst of a pandemic?
In the case of 24-year-old Michael Hoecht, the journey was even more unlikely than it sounds.
As the world shut down in the spring of 2020, like so many others, Hoecht had his pro day cancelled. A private workout with San Francisco was also nixed. The academic senior was suddenly running out of avenues to extend his football career.
"Five alarm fire in my head," Hoecht said of that experience on this week's Rams Revealed podcast. "This is my dream coming to die. But then I was like, I'm not going to let this happen."
So Hoecht went to the practice fields at Brown, where he had been a team captain and two-time sack leader. He recorded just about every piece of film he could envision NFL teams desiring. He documented all the standard combine tests and times; put himself through defensive line drills; he even ran routes as a tight end.
Hoecht took that material, got on his computer, and handled all the editing.
"I put together the whole package of everything (NFL teams) would have seen at the pro day… I was making sure that if they wanted to see something, they would have that film without having to come see me in person."
While his agent sent that reel out to all takers, it was the opportunity to sign with the Rams that Hoecht was after. They were his top choice because of his admiration for Aaron Donald.
After what he described as a redshirt year on the practice squad in 2020, Hoecht (pronounced: "hoyt") earned his spot on the 53-man roster this summer and has dressed for every 2021 game as a contributor on defense and special teams.
For the entirety of his story, including a bit of calculus, check out this week's full episode of Rams Revealed.