Philadelphia Eagles rookies show respect for current and former members of the team

USA TODAY Sports

A big part of being a fan is becoming emotionally invested in a team and its players. That is why, when a new player has a great story or a prior connection to a fan's team, the appreciation becomes even easier to obtain. Last season, Eagles fans really developed an interest in Vinny Curry after it was revealed that he was a major fan of the team before he was drafted. This season, it seems that some of the current rookies will carry a similar connection to the team.

During the first rookie minicamp interviews, a handful of the news guys mentioned admiration for former members of the Eagles. "Sav Rocca (former Eagles punter), I wore his jersey back in Australia when he was playing Australian rules football," said undrafted free agent, LSU's Brad Wing, when asked about if other foreign punters impacted his interest in American football. "He was my biggest hero ever, so when (he) made the transition over to American football, everyone knew about it in Australia."

NC State safety, Earl Wolff, has family ties to Philadelphia, with his mother being a native of the city, but fans will likely appreciate him a bit more because of who he tries emulate on the field. "Before I even started playing safety, I watched Brian Dawkins," said Wolff. "Once I made the move to safety, that's when I really fell in love with him."

Among the praise for former Eagles, the team's first round pick, Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, was quick to compliment one of his current teammates. "(Jason Peters) is one of the best in the league, so as a young guy, you want to learn as much you can and get under his wing, and let him lead you," said Johnson. Rookie quarterback, Matt Barkley, also mentioned that he has a relationship with Nick Foles, dating back to their days in the PAC-12. He also added that Foles texted him during the draft.

Rookie minicamp started on Friday and will end Sunday. The second session of OTAs will begin Monday and will feature the team's veterans and rookies who are not impacted by their graduation class. Among those falling into the "late graduation date" category are cornerback Jordan Poyer, running back Miguel Maysonet, and tight end Zach Ertz.

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