In 24 hours, Mitchell Trubisky will be selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, dubbed a franchise quarterback and board a private jet to his new home. He'll be offered a multimilllion-dollar contract and solidify his place alongside James Garfield and Jim Tressel in the Mount Rushmore of Mentor, Ohio.
You'd never guess it.
One year after he was just fighting for the starting job at North Carolina, Mitchell Trubisky is fighting for an early selection in Thursday's draft. As draft chatter reaches a fever pitch of excitement and chaos, the 6-foot-2, 222-pounder is letting his mind and instincts lead the way in blocking out the noise.
"I really don’t care what anyone else has to say," Trubisky told HERO Sports on Wednesday. "It’s my job to play football and that’s all I really want to do. Whatever anyone else has to say, it doesn’t bother me one bit."
When asked by Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne about the prospect of landing with Cleveland Browns — a team less than 25 miles from his hometown whom he's watched use 24 different starting quarterbacks to win 88 total games in the 18 years since his fifth birthday in 1999 — he said, "They say to be careful what you wish for. But this is what I wished for."
Same goes for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears or New York Jets.
"If it’s a team that’s struggling, I want to go in there and give it everything I got — turn it around and create a winning culture," says Trubisky, who recently went back to Mentor for Hyundai's Rolling with Rookie program to tell the story of his path to the NFL. "This is what I wanted."
Mitchell Trubisky visited his hometown of Mentor, Ohio, before the 2017 NFL Draft. Photo: Hyundai
Though the potential top-five pick is remaining composed and realistic, he's antsy for the next step. He's ready to dispose the "one-year starter" label, prove his value and get back on the field.
Is he even nervous?
"No, sir," he says.
"Well, right now I'm not. Maybe when the draft starts I might be. I’m really just trying to enjoy every moment. I know I’ll end up with a team that believes in me with a great coaching staff. I’m just ready to get back to football and started."
It's still a fourth-month wait until real football, but for now, he's ready to cash in on the hard work. Though Thursday night's selection is viewed as the culmination of an amateur career that began in northeastern Ohio — where he threw for more than 9,000 yards and 90 touchdowns at Mentor High School — and ended in Chapel Hill with a 3,700-yard, 30-touchdown season that spurred a meteoric rise up draft boards, Mitchell Trubisky's entrance into the NFL is more a Part II than anything else.
And while he says he "kind of [has] and idea" which team will draft him, there are countless unknowns. And he loves it.
"You could not talk to a team throughout this whole process and they pick you on draft day. At this point, you have to expect there could be any surprise."