In preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos did a special video with Savannah State graduate and Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe recounted the story of his football journey up until the 1990 NFL Draft, which the team posted on their X account.

For the future Hall of Fame player, it all started during the 1977 Super Bowl.

“I remember thinking, ‘Man, that would be really cool one day to win the Super Bowl or play on TV,'” Sharpe said. Despite watching the Oakland Raiders defeat the Minnesota Vikings – led by the ‘Purple People Eaters' defensive line – he never enjoyed football that much growing up.

“My earliest memories were playing with my brother and my cousins,” he said. “I was always the youngest. Football was my worst sport. The only reason that I played football was because my brother played, and I wanted to be like him. I didn't understand that I wasn't supposed to beat my brother. He was so much bigger, so much stronger, so much faster, it pushed me to get better. I'd go to bed at night thinking, ‘Imma beat that joker tomorrow.'”

Sharpe had a tall task ahead of him. His brother, Sterling, was a college superstar at South Carolina and was a sure-fire first-round draft pick. Sterling, a wide receiver and running back hybrid, caught 163 passes for 2,444 yards and 14 touchdowns in his four-year career. He also ran 39 times for 207 yards and five touchdowns. The Green Bay Packers selected the elder Sharpe with the seventh pick in the 1988 NFL Draft. With five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro selections, Sterling likely would have been in the NFL Hall of Fame by now. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to a severe neck injury that forced him to retire before the age of 30.

While Sterling was busy dominating at South Carolina and in the NFL, Shannon was hard at work in an attempt to best his brother.

“I've always had the mentality, ‘What he could do, I could do better,'” he said. “I went to Savannah State, an HBCU. Although I played at a smaller university, I put up monster numbers. I was the number one prospect below Division IA.”

Sharpe certainly wasn't kidding about the ‘monster numbers.' As a Savannah State Tiger, Sharpe caught 192 passes for 3,744 yards and 40 touchdowns. He improved on his older brother's collegiate numbers, though he did play in a lower division. Still, with those numbers, Sharpe expected to hear his name called early in the 1990 NFL Draft.

“Considering I hadn't heard a lot of calls, I figured the first round was off the table, so I'm thinking I'm going somewhere in the second or third round,” Sharpe explained. “I go to my brother's house in South Carolina. A day goes by; nobody calls. When we wake up the next morning, I say, ‘Man, let's go get a workout.' So we go to the University of South Carolina and somebody says, ‘Sharpe, telephone.' I'm like, ‘Who the hell know I'm here?' I pick up the phone. ‘You ready to be a Bronco?' I said, ‘I sure am,' and I didn't look back. Y'all think I'm the 192nd best player in this draft, that's what y'all think of me? Okay. We'll see. You can measure how fast I am, how high I can jump. You can't measure my passion, my desire to beat the man across from me.”

The Denver Broncos selected Sharpe with the 192nd pick in the seventh round of the draft. The rest was history. Sharpe is fifth all-time in receiving yards by a tight end behind Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, and the newest edition to the list, Travis Kelce. He has about 700 more receiving yards than Rob Gronkowski, who many believe is the greatest tight end in NFL history. Sharpe also ranks eighth in total touchdowns by a tight end with 61. He played with Denver for 10 seasons and won two Super Bowls with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. He then left to play for the Baltimore Ravens for a couple of seasons, won another Super Bowl, then returned to Denver for the final years of his career.

“I got three Super Bowl wins, I got eight Pro Bowls under my belt and a gold jacket. I won,” Sharpe said.

At the end of the video, Sharpe had a special message for the upcoming prospects in this week's NFL Draft. While the message could apply to any of them, he likely meant to speak directly to those who may be drafted in a later round like he was, or undrafted all together.

“This is a dream, this is a lifetime of devotion,” he said. “Seize this opportunity. Don't worry about what they say. Worry about what you know.”