With that, Ed Wang is the first Chinese American player in the NFL. Pretty awesome, considering that his parents -- both former Olympic athletes for China -- didn't have a whole lot of football in their backgrounds. But Ed, who was born and raised in Virginia, fully understands and embraces what this means:
It will be a significant barrier-breaking moment for Chinese-Americans, a proud moment for the parents who always convinced him to ignore perceptions. It also will be a potential marketing plum for the team that drafts him. But beyond the cultural significance, Wang is a humble, high-quality player who overcame stereotypes and could open a lot of doors for Asian-Americans.He sounds like an impressive guy, especially considering all the obstacles and stigmas -- if not outright racism -- he's had to overcome as an Asian American in football. Often an outsider, opponents and peers often made fun of Wang's heritage, his family, his name and his eyes. More on Ed Wang here: Getting to Know NFL hopeful Ed Wang.
"I've embraced it," Wang said. "I definitely take pride that I could be the first Chinese-American to play in the NFL. "My mom always told me to live a low-key life. You don't have to brag or talk about yourself a lot. Just do the right things and you'll be noticed.
Wang's Virginia Tech career certainly proved to be a marvelous one, known for all the right reasons. He was a popular figure on campus, one of the many campus leaders and athletes looked upon for support after the 2007 shootings that killed 32 on the Hokies' campus. After switching from tight end to the offensive line, Wang started 34 consecutive games, mostly at left tackle. He has since wowed scouts at the Senior Bowl and put together impressive numbers at the NFL Combine.
"I started playing when I was six," Wang said. "My parents didn't know anything about football and neither did I. We learned it together."