Brandon Bostick and Marshall McFadden got the news they both were hoping for Saturday.
The two Pee Dee natives were signed to the practice squads of NFL clubs, a day after being released by their respective teams. Bostick will be a part of the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, while McFadden will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“ It has been a dream come true. I have been working for it all my life and all my hard work paid off,” Bostick said. “The Packers are a great organization, and you have everything you need to help you be on top of your game.”
“ I sat out for a whole year, and I knew someday it was going to pay off,” McFadden said. “I got my foot in door, and that is all you can ask for.”
Both players said they were told when they were released Friday that they would most likely be signed to the practice squads. As practice squad members, Bostick and McFadden will do everything active players do during the week but the only difference is they won’t dress for games, although they will be allowed on the sidelines for home contests.
Typically, practice squad members make about $6,000 a week, but the amount would increase to about $20,000 if they are activated for a game. Players including Tony Romo, James Harrison and Kurt Warner worked their way up from the practice squad to successful NFL careers.
And being part of the active roster at some point is the goal for both Bostick and McFadden.
“You get a chance to develop your skills at your position and get looks in front of the coaches,” Bostick said.
Bostick, the former West Florence standout, was invited to a tryout back in May and made the Packers’ training camp roster. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end appeared in all four preseason games and caught three passes for 28 yards.
But catching a ball hasn’t been a problem for Bostick, who had 136 receptions at Newberry College. It was improving his blocking skills, which he said he has been able to do during the preseason.
Bostick also hopes to put on more weight as the Packers want him at about 260 pounds.
McFadden, the former Lamar standout, has been with the Steelers since January after he signed a futures/reserve contract, letting him participate in all the offseason workouts and camps. He was out of football last year but had a productive preseason at linebacker and was second on the team with 15 tackles.
McFadden said he has been able to benefit for being around Steeler veteran linebackers LaMarr Woodley, Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, the former Wilson standout.
“ My main focus was to go in humble, stay humble and improve every day,” McFadden said. “I am just going to keep working hard, and anything can happen. You are just an injury away from getting your chance.”