Citadel linebacker Myles Pierce will graduate from the military school in May with an outstanding grade point average and a job offer from Ernst & Young, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms.
"They offered me a job in the risk advisory department," said Pierce, who made the fall semester academic all-Southern Conference team with a 3.86 GPA in business administration. "I'm really blessed to get that."
But Pierce, who helped The Citadel to SoCon football championships as a sophomore and junior, is not quite ready to trade in his playbook for spreadsheets. The senior has been invited to play in the Senior Bowl on Saturday in his hometown of Mobile, Ala.
The annual all-star game (2:30 p.m., NFL Network) features top NFL Draft-eligible players from around the nation. Alabama defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand, Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma are just some of the players set to play in the game.
Pierce is one of 13 players from FCS schools competing with players from bigger FBS programs, but is eager for the challenge. He measured in at 5-11 and 227 pounds at Tuesday's weigh-in in Mobile.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I feel like I had some of my better games against FBS schools like Florida State, Clemson and North Carolina. So it's definitely not something I shy away from."
Pierce has had an up close and personal look at an FCS to NFL success story. His older brother, Michael Pierce, starred at Samford before signing with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. The 6-0, 340-pound defensive tackle just wrapped up his second year in the league.
"He told me it's harder coming from an FCS school," Myles said of his brother, who was not invited to the NFL Combine after his senior season in 2016. "He told me, just keep your head down and work as hard as you can, and let it fall in place. Don't worry about what you can't control."
For The Citadel, Pierce was an all-SoCon linebacker, leading the Bulldogs with 91 tackles and 13 tackles for loss last season. He's obviously on the small side for an NFL linebacker, but there are guys of similar stature in the league: Linebacker Jatavis Brown (5-11, 212) of the Chargers and Zaire Anderson (5-11, 220) of the Broncos, for example.
Unlike most of the prospects at the Senior Bowl, who either have graduated or left school to concentrate on football, Pierce is still taking classes at The Citadel. He'll have to take a week off from those classes in order to practice at the Senior Bowl in front of pro scouts and general managers, but said he can follow his assignments on-line.
As his GPA attests, Pierce can handle the workload. He was one of three SoCon players named to the prestigious ADA FCS Academic All-Star team.
He's also been working with The Citadel's strength coaches to stay in football shape and improve speed and explosion.
"I'm hoping to open the eyes of scouts who might not have heard of me, or don't have much information on me," he said. "I want to let them get their eyes on me and see me compete with the FBS guys they've seen all season, so they can compare me with guys they've already been evaluating."
• Former Citadel cornerback Dee Delaney, who transferred to Miami for his final season, played in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. He started at corner for the East team.
• The Citadel's Kailik Williams, the SoCon defensive player of the year in 2016, played Jan. 14 in the the Tropical Bowl, an all-star game in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was credited with one tackle in the game.