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Undrafted former walk-on chokes up as NFL dream comes true

As jaded as some have become with the hoopla, the NFL draft, at its core, is still by and large a mass collection of feel-good stories and dreams come true.

In some cases, draft weekend even produces unforgettable moments for those players who don't hear their name called.

Such was the case for Kansas State center B.J. Finney, an All-Big 12 performer who watched the final rounds Saturday with more than 100 friends and family at his uncle's farm in Wellington, Kansas. According to the Wichita Eagle, "he played horseshoes, he talked to his agent and he ran through superstitions, hoping to magically convince a general manager to select him. When none of that worked, he reversed course and began pleading for teams to pass on him."

That's right -- he was hoping to not hear his name as the final 10 or so teams made their selections. That's because the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team his family has rooted for throughout B.J.'s life, was one of the teams that had expressed interest in signing Finney as an undrafted free agent.

The 6-foot-4, 318-pound lineman indeed did not get drafted, but he was able to make this emotional announcement to his friends and family shortly thereafter:

If you know a little bit about Finney's backstory, you'll know just how priceless -- and unlikely -- that announcement was.

From the Wichita Eagle:

It was a special moment, one that Finney could hardly imagine five years ago. Back then he was a high school football player without a single Division I scholarship offer. And he could barely afford to walk on at K-State, borrowing money from his mother and draining his bank account to enroll. Even then, he only had enough cash to cover two semesters. The NFL seemed unreachable.

But after five productive years at K-State in which he earned a scholarship, rocketed his way up the depth chart, started 52 games and blocked his way into one all-conference award after another, he is on his way.

"I never dared to think this would actually happen," Finney's mother said, already wearing a Steelers shirt. "There are no words to describe how perfectly everything worked out."