As Cleveland Browns tight end
Cameron’s brother, Colby, and Kruger’s brothers, David and Joe, are preparing to take the next step in their football careers, and are eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Kruger said his advice to his brothers was to “really not to worry about” what is out of their control.
“What’s going to happen is going to happen," Kruger said. "You never know what team you’re going to go to, no matter how much you think you might. You just can’t worry about it.”
Cameron said he gave his brother, who played quarterback at Louisiana Tech, a similar message.
“He’s got to just be patient; it’s a waiting game," Cameron said. "Right now, it’s hard because you can’t do anything. You’re just waiting on someone to give you a call. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, and he’s worked hard, did what he needed to do to get to this position.”
The younger Cameron completed 359 of 522 attempts for 4,147 yards and 31 touchdowns against five interceptions this past season. During his career, he set an NCAA record for the most consecutive attempts without an interception.
“He’s healthy and he’s ready to go,” Cameron said of his younger brother. “It’s exciting. I’m proud of him. He’s my little brother, but I look up to him in a lot of ways. It’s a lot of fun to watch him grow up and do what he’s doing.
“He’s just a great kid, a great example. He had some tough times at Louisiana Tech and he fought through and I’m proud of him. It’s hard to be out there on your own. Things weren’t going right for him, and he fought through all of that, persevered, and showed a lot of resilience. He’s a stud, and I’m proud to be his older brother.”
LEAVING UTAH EARLY
The youngest of the Kruger brothers decided to forgo his senior season at Utah after earning honorable mention All-Pacific 12 Conference honors. Joe Kruger registered 30 total tackles, including eight for lost yards, led the team with six sacks, and also returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown against Northern Colorado.
Kruger also forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal against the University of Colorado.
“He’s ready,” Kruger said of Joe. “He’s a mature kid, so we’ll see what happens.”
COMPETITION AMONGST FAMILY
In addition to Joe, Kruger’s middle brother, David, is preparing for the NFL Draft after playing in 49 of 51 career games at defensive tackle for the Utes.
David had the unique of experience of playing on the same team as his older brother as a freshman and younger brother during his junior and senior seasons.
Having an older brother already in the NFL and a younger brother preparing to make that transition to the professional ranks at the same time continues to spark competition in the Kruger household.
“It’s an amazing experience,” David Kruger said. “We’re always competing against each other. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s cards, chess, golf or football. Me, Paul and Joe are always competing against each other, trying to set the bar higher for each other.”
Joe Kruger added, “We’ve both been training together, and hopefully, we both get picked up and go to a team. I’ve been able to live with David for the past two years, and I got to go to train for the Combine with him, and train for the Pro Day with him. It’s been awesome because not a lot of people go through that, with brothers preparing for the NFL together.”
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
By going through the draft process five and four years ago, respectively, Kruger and Cameron have been able to provide advice to their younger brothers about life in the NFL. Having an older brother to lean on throughout the pre-draft process has been comforting for Cameron and the Krugers.
“It’s cool having someone to look up to, and seeing their work ethic and where they’re at now, I can try to mirror his image,” the younger Cameron said after a recent workout in California. “You always want to have respect from an older brother. I’ve looked up to him my whole life, and I guess it’s me just seeing that even though we are going through struggles and working your butt off, at the end, it shows that your hard work does pay off. It’s a reflection of what I saw when he was going through it.”
Joe Kruger added, “It’s a blessing. I had Paul in the NFL telling me what to do and what’s going on, what it’s like. Most of all, it’s been comforting for me and my family just because we’ve been through the process. It’s all been positive, and I’m excited to take the next step to the NFL.”
*Photos provided courtesy of the University of Utah and Louisiana Tech.