From Geneseo to Illinois State to the NFL, Drew Himmelman is ready for his opportunity with the Denver Broncos

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From a 6’9 230-pound Geneseo tight end to a 6’10 320-pound All-American tackle at Illinois State. Drew Himmelman has been through it all and now he is getting an opportunity to play in the NFL signing with the Denver Broncos.

“Yeah, it definitely something I’ve dreamed about. I think it’s something that every kid grows up playing sports. They dream about playing professionally so, I wasn’t any different. Probably around my Sophomore, Junior year of college my coaches started telling me that they thought maybe I had a chance, so I started believing in myself. And it was awesome on Saturday I was back in Geneseo with my family, with my girlfriend and grandparents. Kind of hanging out watching, yeah everyone was really excited,” said Broncos Tackle Drew Himmelman.

“At Geneseo High School, Himmelman was a two-sport athlete staring in both football and basketball. Drew Credits his coach Larry Johnsen Jr. for helping him develop as a player.

“I think that Coach Johnsen has a great program there. I think he does a really good job teaching a lot of the intangible things that takes to be successful. Like hard work, how to carry yourself and how to be a good teammate just things like that really translate to the next level. Obviously, the strength component, the skill component, they are going to develop you at the next level regardless. It’s whether you have them intangibles that will determine your success,” said said Himmelman.

When Drew got to Illinois State, he had to Grayshirt which meant he couldn’t start his collegian career until the following spring. That’s where Himmelman made the switch to offensive tackle, and he never looked back since.

“When I was getting recruited by Illinois State, they told me I would start out as a tight end, but we were going to see what my body did when I got there. And they told me it definitely a strong possibility I’d move to offensive tackles. So, I showed up to spring 2016 as a tight end went through like three practices in spring ball and then one of the offensive tackles got hurt so they moved me inside and I never went back out,” said Himmelman.

Drew saw a lot of similarities on how Geneseo and Illinois State ran their programs.

“It’s a program that has a lot of the same values as Geneseo. Tempo, toughness, and technique are kind of the 3 T’s that coach Spack preaches. Very similar to Geneseo in that aspect, I really enjoyed that part of it,” Himmelman said.

Himmelman started 35 games at left tackle for the Redbirds, earning All-Conference and All-American honors in 2019. In 2021 Himmelman had to balance a spring football season while preparing for the NFL draft.

“So, we played in the spring obviously. We played our first four games, and we cancelled the rest of our season. I didn’t do like the draft prep stuff as far as the 40, vertical jump, things like that. I was able to do drills at our pro day which was cool. That was what my NFL draft prep was like. Really, just playing our spring season and putting more tape out there,” said Himmelman.

Drew is graduating on Saturday with a masters in biomechanics, then he flies out to Denver on May 12th for the Broncos rookie minicamp.

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