Clayton Thorson Jersey

The numbers didn’t lie for Clayton Thorson during his four seasons at Northwestern – he finished as the Wildcats’ all-time leader with 10,731 passing yards, 991 completions, and 61 touchdowns. He became one of only six quarterbacks in Big Ten history to pass for more than 10,000 yards in his career and is the only quarterback in conference history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and run for 20 touchdowns in his career. He played in 53 games, also a Big Ten record for quarterbacks. He was durable, and he was a leader.

And maybe the most impressive thing on Thorson’s list of credentials as he waited for his name to be called in the 2019 NFL Draft was the way he won for Northwestern.

“Here’s a guy who in three of the last four years led Northwestern to a bowl game, a win, actually,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said after the team made Thorson its fifth-round draft pick on Saturday, No. 167 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. “He’s a proven winner and he’s got great production. He’ll fit well into that room and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

A highly rated recruit and one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks out of high school, Thorson is a complete package. He was a member of the Math Honor Society in high school and he led his high school team to the state football playoffs. At Northwestern, Thorson was, simply, the man.

Now he’s trying to take his career to the next level in a room headed by Carson Wentz, with young veteran Nate Sudfeld in line to be the No. 2 quarterback and recently signed Luis Perez ready to compete for a roster spot.

“Carson has the keys to the car, he knows it all and I’m sure Nate does too,” said Thorson, whose father, Chad, played in the NFL with the Giants and was with the Eagles in the 1991 Training Camp period and preseason as a linebacker. “So, I’m looking forward to learning from them, but also becoming good friends with them and supporting them and competing my butt off and so looking forward to getting to know them. I’ve heard such great things about that room, obviously to see Nick (Foles) go away, I think it’s just a great opportunity for me.”

Thorson didn’t miss any time at Northwestern after suffering a torn ACL at the end of his junior campaign and then he played in Northwestern’s Music City Bowl game as a senior with a high-ankle sprain, but he’s said to be a tough, hard-nosed player with a football pedigree. Thorson grew up loving the game of football, was coached at Northwestern by former NFL quarterback Kent Graham, and comes to the Eagles with some experience and polish.

“I grew up watching Peyton Manning,” he said. “I think I take things from each quarterback I watch. You watch Aaron Rodgers get out of the pocket and move and he is pretty impressive. But I try to be myself and who that is is a guy who can sling it. With our offense at Northwestern, I was able to learn how to throw the ball with a lot of anticipation and tight windows, making plays on the run, moving the pocket a little bit. But we had a great offense at Northwestern in terms of preparing me for the NFL. So, I feel like I have taken a lot from many different quarterbacks.”

With the Eagles, Thorson has to impress the coaching staff and earn a roster spot and the trust of all of his teammates, one step at a time.

“I’m just so grateful and thankful for the Eagles organization for taking me and I’m looking forward to getting in there and learning from these great coaches and obviously this awesome quarterback room that I’ve heard so much about,” Thorson said. “So I’m really excited. It meant a lot to me. I’ve heard such good things about the Eagles. So, really looking forward to Philly and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Shareef Miller Jersey

On the night of Feb. 4, 2018, Shareef Miller did what pretty much every Eagles fan did around the world.

He shed tears.

A Philadelphia native and die-hard Eagles fan, Miller watched his favorite team capture the Super Bowl with his grandfather, Emmitt.

“Watching that Super Bowl was a great moment for us and the city,” Miller said. “Me and my grandpop cried because we used to always stress about the Eagles. It was a great feeling.”

Miller is now a part of the team. On Saturday, the Eagles selected the former Penn State defensive end with the 138th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Miller was in Philadelphia with family and friends to celebrate the occasion. He even contemplated rushing down to the NovaCare Complex.

“It was surreal. I couldn’t even put it in words,” Miller said of getting the call from the Eagles. “It still feels like a dream. I’m just so happy and just super excited and super blessed and super thankful that the Eagles gave me this opportunity to me, and just to be home too. It couldn’t be a better story.”

Miller started his prep career at Frankford High School in Northeast Philadelphia before transferring to George Washington for his senior year. A two-time first‐team All‐Southeastern Pennsylvania selection, Miller chose to stay close to home at Penn State.

After his redshirt freshman season, Miller played in all 14 games in 2016 and showed plenty of promise registering 22 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Miller became a starter in 2017 and earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from the media after more than doubling his sack (5) and tackles for loss (11) totals. He even began to show leadership as he donned the No. 19 jersey for two games to honor teammate Torrence Brown, who suffered a season-ending injury.

“The thing about Shareef is, I was so proud of him, from the time we recruited him out of high school, from the time that he showed up here on campus is he’s grown, he’s matured, he’s developed in every aspect of his life – academically, athletically, socially,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. “He’s really become a big-time football player, was a tremendous leader for us this year on our D-line, on our defense, and really with our team.”

The 6-4, 254-pound Miller was a third-team All-Big Ten selection in 2018 after posting 41 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks in 13 games. He was also Penn State’s Co-Most Valuable Defensive Player this past season. In 40 games over his three-year career, the 22-year-old had 100 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

“Where I thought he made a big step this year is he was a really complete player,” Franklin said. “A lot of time early on, all defensive ends want to do is sack the quarterback and he’s at a point now not only does he enjoy obviously getting pressure on the quarterback but playing the run consistently and holding his gap and all of those types of things.

“We get excited about that guy that’s got the one really sexy trait that you fall in love with. He ran an unbelievable 40 or did one thing extremely well. And that’s not really the case with Shareef. He does a lot of things at a high level.”

Miller visited with the Eagles just before the NFL Draft. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz pulled him aside and told him he would “be a great fit” and “a guy they need.” It meant a lot to Miller coming from Schwartz, knowing the type of defensive scheme the Eagles utilize.

“I know everything about the Eagles. I love how they attack fronts,” Miller said. “The defensive line attacks and I just like everything about the Eagles’ defense. Being a fan and watching how they get after guys and get after the quarterback. Also, the type of swag they play with the Eagles and the brotherhood over there.”

Two seasons ago, Miller had no influence over what the Eagles did on the field. Now, he’ll be responsible for helping bring another parade down Broad Street.

“My mom told me it’s time to work now,” he said. “I’m just ready to work, that’s it. Just put my head down and soak up all the knowledge I can from the older guys in the D-line room and learn from them how to be a professional.”