May 2, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sometime last April, someone near the 11th hole at Fostoria Country Club in Fostoria, Ohio, left with a set of second-hand golf clubs and several sleeves of balls.
The gift was compliments of University of Iowa defensive back Micah Hyde and the rest of his foursome. The occasion? Hyde received a call from the Green Bay Packers, telling him he was selected in the fifth round with the 159th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The conversation was means for celebration; Hyde didn't finish the final eight holes of golf that day.
"I got on the course with a bunch of friends and they kept telling me what round it was and what pick it was and I told them to put their phones away," Hyde said. "I didn't care. I just wanted to have a good time."
For Hyde, nothing compensated for an awful approach shot more than answering "The Call" on April 27, 2013.
"It was a horrible lie," Hyde remembers. "I was about to swing when my friend started yelling `Green Bay, Wisconsin, Green Bay, Wisconsin.' When I got off the phone we started throwing golf clubs and golf balls into the water."
They weren't even Hyde's clubs.
"They're going to hear all these projections, and they have to filter it out. I know the kind of players they are -- they are all going make a team because of what they can do on special teams, what kind of players they are, and their character. I know they will make the most of their opportunity -- (head) coach (Kirk) Ferentz and (strength and conditioning) coach (Chris) Doyle taught us well."
Green Bay Packers
"If you get drafted in the first round it's going to be huge, if you get drafted seventh round it's going to be huge, if you get picked up as a free agent it's going to be huge," Hyde said. "You're going to get a shot. When you get that shot, make the most of it.
"I kept telling myself, wherever I get picked, I'm going to go in there and do just like I did at Iowa: learn my role and try to help the team any way I can."
The Packers can't complain about their investment in Hyde. Green Bay finished the regular season 8-7-1, winning the NFC North before falling to San Francisco, 23-20, in the first round of the playoffs. Hyde played all 16 games with three starts. He compiled 55 tackles, returned 24 punts for an average of 12.3 yards per return, and returned 22 kicks for an average of 24.1 yards per return.
During the seventh game of the season, Hyde took a Minnesota punt 93 yards for a touchdown in a game the Packers won, 44-31. On Dec. 22, with Green Bay down by a touchdown with 88 seconds left, Hyde fielded a kickoff a yard deep in the end zone and carried it 70 yards to Pittsburgh's 31-yard line. The Steelers held on to win, 38-31.
Hyde remains close to the UI program and talks frequently to many of the Hawkeyes who will celebrate what promises to be a big day in their lives next weekend.
"They're going to hear all these projections, and they have to filter it out," Hyde said. "I know the kind of players they are -- they are all going make a team because of what they can do on special teams, what kind of players they are, and their character. I know they will make the most of their opportunity -- (head) coach (Kirk) Ferentz and (strength and conditioning) coach (Chris) Doyle taught us well."
The 2014 NFL Draft returns to primetime, with the first round taking place May 8 beginning at 7 p.m. (CT), followed by the second and third rounds on May 9 beginning at 6 p.m. Rounds 4-7 will be held May 10 beginning at 11 a.m. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN and NFL Network.
Hyde will not be one of millions glued to the television during draft days.
"The whole draft process is too much for me. It's too over-hyped," Hyde said. "I won't watch it ever again. Well, maybe if my son is trying to get in the NFL, then I'll watch. Other than that I'm not that interested."