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Deneric Prince plans to emulate Pacheco’s 2022 success

Prince said that he and the Chiefs coaching staff have a great relationship.

Tulsa v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Every kid who plays football dreams of one day hearing his name called during the NFL Draft.

It's something that running back Deneric Prince worked for his whole life. Then, when the big day finally arrived, he gathered with friends and family, eagerly waiting for his phone to ring. But in the case of Prince, that call never came.

Name after name appeared on the screen. The rounds passed by, and yet, his phone remained silent. And then — just like that — it was over. Prince was one of the hundreds of college prospects every year that went undrafted.

"I was getting a little discouraged, like during late in the seventh round," Prince recalled from the podium on Monday afternoon. "But I knew I put the work in, so I knew something good was going to come."

Something good did come — after three long days of waiting. His phone finally rang... twice. One call was from the Kansas City Chiefs. The other was from the Miami Dolphins. Both teams wanted to sign him.

Prince had a decision to make. Ultimately, he chose to sign with the Chiefs.

When asked why he chose Kansas City, Prince said that the coaching staff weighed heavily on his decision — specifically, Chiefs running backs coach Todd Pinkston.

"I did a few Zooms with the coaches, like during the draft process," said Prince. "I really liked the coaching staff and the running back coaches, and I felt like they liked me. So I felt like this would be a good fit for me."

In fact, during his presser, Prince mentioned his relationship with Pinkston on three different occasions, each time mentioning the coach's affection for him as a player.

But whether the coaching staff likes him or not, Prince knows that he has an uphill battle ahead of him as an undrafted free agent. When he was asked how his rookie minicamp has been, he said that he is attempting to attack everything like a pro and that he has something to prove.

"[It] definitely just put a chip on my shoulder to make me just work harder," he said."

Prince went on to explain that watching teammate and former seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco's success last year in his rookie season has encouraged him that he has the opportunity to write his own story.

"Just seeing how they play him as a seventh-round pick shows that they put the best player in. So I like that."

Later, when asked what running backs he admired growing up, Prince said he enjoyed observing all-time Chiefs rushing leader Jamaal Charles.

"Just watching Jamaal Charles and how he breaks long runs. It's really exciting to me, and I feel like I can do the same thing."

One thing is sure: if Prince runs hard like Pacheco and takes it to the house like Charles, then there is a good chance he sticks around.

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