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Bryce Huff has an underdog story built for Philadelphia

Bryce Huff signs his three-year contract with the Eagles!
Bryce Huff signs his three-year contract with the Eagles!

Bryce Huff sat on a dirt mound near his home in Mobile, Alabama after hearing 255 names called at the 2020 NFL Draft. The only name he didn't hear was his.

"I needed to clear my mind, I was stressed seeing the picks drop down and my name not being called," Huff said. "I looked over the tree line, cleared my mind, and focused on how I wasn't going to let going undrafted define who I was as a player."

Four years later, Huff's excellent production on the field and perseverance off the field, rewarded him with a three-year contract with the Eagles.

Born and raised in Alabama, Huff had the pads on at 4 years old. He took after his older brother Jordan, who ended up playing college football at Northern Illinois University.

"I always watched my brother growing up and when I got to that age, I was able to play ball," Huff said. "There definitely was some pressure because everybody in Alabama played football, so if you weren't playing ball, there really wasn't much else to do. It was something I was really looking forward to as a kid."

The 25-year-old originally committed to play collegiately in his hometown for the University of South Alabama. A late change of heart saw him go from Mobile to Memphis. It was University of Memphis Head Coach Mike Norvell who convinced Huff to make the switch. One of Huff's offers was from Arizona State University, coached by Norvell at the time. Once Norvell went from the Sun Belt Conference to the American Athletic Conference, it was a no-brainer for Huff.

Huff spent his first three years playing outside linebacker at Memphis, a position he had familiarity with at St. Paul's Episcopal School. As a senior, Huff transitioned to a "hand-in-the-dirt" defensive end.

He exploded onto the scene during his final two seasons at Memphis, wreaking havoc in a competitive AAC. After registering 50 tackles and two sacks in his first 17 games, Huff had 101 tackles and 16 sacks in his final 28 games.


While preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft, Huff's agent told him that he could be a Day 3 pick. As the rounds wound down, he received a call from the Jets. When the phone rings for a draft prospect, it is usually from the general manager of their future team telling them they are being selected with an upcoming pick. On the other line of Huff's phone was a Jets coach expressing his interest in signing him as an undrafted free agent.

The Jets kept their promise, signing Huff as an undrafted free agent at the end of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the challenges of being an undrafted free agent increased as Huff began his NFL career during the COVID-19 pandemic. Huff lost out on the opportunity to have his Pro Day and the chance to show off his skills in preseason. Through all the adversity, Huff made the Jets' 53-man roster as a rookie. Huff credited former Jets defensive assistant Blake Williams for helping him learn the playbook and teaching him the ins and outs of being in the NFL.

"Coming into Training Camp as a rookie without having OTAs or minicamp was challenging," Huff said. "I just had to lock in, and Coach Williams helped me out a lot during those times."

Year by year, Huff continued to grow and become a staple on the Jets' defense. Last season, he reached another level. Huff recorded double-digit sacks (10) for the first time in his career and led the league in QB pressure rate (21.8%) for the second year in a row, according to Next Gen Stats. His average get-off time has decreased by more than a tenth of a second since entering the league, the biggest reduction by any player in the top 10 of get-off time in 2022.

When it was time to make a free agency decision this offseason, the culture of the Eagles stood out to Huff. But even more, it was the underdog mentality of Philadelphia that made his choice easy.

"That's my whole story, I've been slept on my entire career," Huff said. "I am looking forward to balling out with the team and embracing the culture."

After choosing the Eagles, Huff first called his mom, Colette. His second call was to former Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry, who had 30 sacks and won Super Bowl LII in eight seasons with the team. The two crossed paths with the Jets in 2022, when Curry served as a mentor for Huff.

"I had to call Vinny, he's my guy," Huff said.

A fan-favorite in Philadelphia, Curry offered advice about playing in the City of Brotherly Love and what it is like to be an Eagle.

Huff will look to emulate defensive ends of the past and present as he continues to tell his underdog story.

Go inside the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles sign players – both new and returning veterans – for the 2024 season. Check out all of these exclusive photos in one spot.

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