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Determination pays off

McIntyre finally makes it to NFL
By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Garrett McIntyre never gave up on his dream to play in the National Football League and now finds himself as a member of the New York Jets. McIntyre, 26, a product of South Lake Tahoe High School, walked on at Fresno State University in 2002 before earning a scholarship. A three-year starter at Fresno State, McIntyre was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 and spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans, but never made the teams. Still wanting to play football, McIntyre played two years in the Arena Football League with the San Jose SaberCats in 2007 and 2008 followed by another two-year stint with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League in 2009 and 2010. After finishing the season with the Tiger-Cats, McIntyre headed to Folsom where he spent his offseason working at and working out at Broadstone Racquet Club, as well as at Pure Athletix in El Dorado Hills, where he also worked for Patrick Gallagher. The Jets liked what they saw in a pro workout and in early February signed McIntyre to a contract and he’s currently a backup linebacker on the team with Super Bowl aspirations. “I had a good season last year in Hamilton and I guess the NFL still scouts players there,” McIntyre said. “I went on the workout circuit and the Jets liked me and signed me right before the lockout in early February.” McIntyre, who is 6-foot-3 and weighs 255 pounds, was both surprised and excited to be signed by the Jets. “There was some luck involved because a lot of guys don’t get another shot to make it,” McIntyre said. “It’s every kid’s dream to make the NFL and I’m ecstatic to get that opportunity.” Gallagher said he’s not surprised McIntyre is in the NFL. “He’s got a phenomenal work ethic and a great attitude and he’s a very explosive athlete,” Gallagher said. “It was great having him here this summer.” After not making any team in 2006, McIntyre knew that he still wanted to play football and get paid for doing it no matter what league it was in. Over the next four years in the Arena Football League and Canadian Football League, McIntyre paid his dues. “Sometimes I thought I’d never make it back to the NFL and other times I thought I would,” he said. “I never made a lot of money playing in those leagues. Basically, I was making enough to survive. It was a relief when I made the team because now I’m making some real money. I put in a lot of hard work and now it’s paying off.” According to the Jets depth chart, McIntyre backs up outside linebacker Calvin Pace. He also plays on all the Jets’ special teams. In the Jets win at Jacksonville on Sept. 18, McIntyre was in on his first NFL tackle on a kick return. This past week the Jets played in Oakland and McIntyre got to play in front of family and friends. “I’ve got a bunch of people coming to the game,” McIntyre said on an interview on Saturday. “It’s a good feeling to be able to play in front of family again. It will be great to see everyone.” McIntyre will always remember his first NFL game, at home against the Cowboys on Sept. 11. “You could definitely feel the impact of 9-11 even 10 years later,” he said. “It was electric and I had to keep myself calm. It was great the way the game ended too. It didn’t look like we were going to win it, but we did.” Playing in the NFL is all McIntyre thought it would be. “It’s the big show and everyone in the league is good,” McIntyre said. “It’s a business and guys get paid a lot of money. It’s great to be here.” After the season, McIntyre said he plans to return to Folsom in the offseason. “I like Folsom a lot and I love the area and I can get up to Tahoe whenever I want,” McIntyre said. “I’m looking forward to training more kids too.”