How a three-day NFL draft wait and getting the call feels – USA TODAY

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San Jose State running back celebrates at home with family after getting call from the Houston Texans that they were drafting him in the fourth round.

COLTON, Calif. – Tyrone Ervin isn’t much of a crier.

But when the Houston Texans called his son, Tyler, during the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, Tyrone couldn’t help it. He went to a corner of the living room by himself and bawled.

“It’s probably one of the most exhilarating things that ever happened to me,” Tyrone Ervin said a bit later. “I’ll probably be emotional for a while. I’m just so happy for him.”

These are the scenes that play out around the country – away from the “green room” in Chicago, away from the lights and cameras – as young men with far less idea when or where they’re going to go than the first-rounders wait, sometimes much longer than they expect.

“I knew my time would come eventually,” said Tyler Ervin, a shifty running back from San Jose State whom the Texans selected 119th overall. “But it’s just the anticipation part of it – it’s like the whole part of sitting there. You don’t really get a chance to relax too much.”

Ervin watched the first round with his parents Thursday night, knowing he wouldn’t be drafted that high. The anticipation really kicked in Friday with a party on the back patio, complete with a bar-b-que and NFL Network hooked up to a TV outside.

Family and friends came and went throughout Round 2 and then Round 3, which was where Ervin’s agent, Bardia Ghahremani, thought he was likely to be taken. But just four running backs came off the board by the end of Friday night – the fewest through three rounds since the 1970 merger – the party cleared out and everyone was left to sleep another night without answers.

“I was fine and calm,” said Ervin’s mother, Carla, “only because I really believed in my heart that he was going to make it and he was going to get picked.”

A smaller group of about a dozen family members gathered Saturday morning, eating eggs, bacon and donuts as Round 4 kicked off at 9 a.m. Pacific. And they didn’t have to wait long.

At 10:06, Ghahremani, preparing for the post-draft signing rush back in Mission Viejo, sent Ervin a text that just said: “Houston.”

“What about them?” Ervin replied.

“They just hit me,” Ghahremani wrote.

“They want me?”

“Boom!” Ghahremani wrote, and then Ervin’s phone rang with a Houston area code.

Texans running backs coach Charles London was on the other end, and head coach Bill O’Brien, and general manager Rick Smith, passing the phone around and saying congratulations. Ervin was a Texan.

“It took me a minute to sink in a little bit,” Ervin said.

Everyone else figured out what was happening quickly, because Ervin hadn’t talked on the phone in days. His mother jumped up and down and sisters Ebonee and Erika pulled out their phones to record the TV broadcast and his father cried and cried until a long embrace with his son, who got emotional, too, before clapping his hands and saying: “Let’s go to work!”

Even better for this family: Ervin’s older brother, Tyrone Jr., and about 60 other family members live in the Houston area. Tyrone Sr. called him just before the pick was announced.

“It’s really surreal, because it’s something that only happens once in your lifetime,” Tyler Ervin said. “I can take a deep breath. But at the same time, I know the work is only beginning now, so I’m ready to go.”

After a champagne toast, Tyrone Ervin was ready to go someplace else: the mall.

“I have to go get some Texans gear,” Tyrone said, grinning. “I can’t wait.”

Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter @TomPelissero.

How a three-day NFL draft wait and getting the call feels – USA TODAY

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