Ty Nsekhe's road to NFL success didn't come easy, but the third-year Redskins tackle is ready to continuing growing in what has become an impressive late bloomer story.
For the first time since high school, Ty Nsekhe will be able to call a place home for three straight seasons. The Washington Redskins officially re-signed Nsekhe on Monday, ensuring that the team's most important backup offensive lineman would remain on the roster for the 2017 season.
"I take it as a great blessing to get another opportunity to sign another NFL contract and continuing my dream playing in the NFL," Nsekhe told Redskins.com. "I know it's been a journey. When I look back on it I just say 'Wow.' Where I am at now especially, it is still amazing. It is hard for me to grasp the situation. Every day people come up to me and actually know who I am and it's amazing to me."
His path from high school all the way to being a key member of the Redskins wasn't a straight one. It started during his college days, splitting time between Texas State and Tarleton State from 2003-06.
Out of football for the next two years, Nsekhe was able to get back into the game in 2009, signing with the Corpus Christi Sharks of Arena Football 2. In 2010, he appeared in just one game for the Dallas Vigilantes.
That was followed by 18 games with the Philadelphia Soul in 2011, where the 6-foot-8, 335 pounder played tight end. Each day he was there, Nsekhe talked with team president Ron Jaworski every day.
"He would tell me that I am 'too good to play here,' so he gave me the opportunity," Nsekhe said. "When the end of the season came I thought he had position, I don't know if he does or not, but he told me that he had a position to give me a chance for camp and it never came to fruition. So that kind of sombered me a little bit."
Nsekhe would spend the next three years between the San Antonio Talons of the AFL, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints before first signing with the Redskins on Feb. 10, 2015.
While he hadn't appeared in a regular season game since Sept. 23, 2012, Nskehe understood what it took to compete at the NFL level.
"By the time I got here I was on three NFL teams, so I kind of knew the day-to-day of the NFL," Nseke said. "I had some hiccups with injuries with my previous teams and patience was thin so they released me. Fortunately, I was able to get a second chance here and thrive in the system."
Indeed, Nsekhe has taken advantage of his opportunity with the Redskins. He has appeared in 29 regular season games over the last two seasons with six starts.
In 2016, Nsekhe started the four games following Washington's Week 9 bye as Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams served a league-mandated suspension.
Nsekhe excelled in Williams absence, leaving some on the outside to wonder if he should stay in the lineup at left tackle with the Oklahoma product shifting over to guard. While that certainly didn't happen, Williams' presence alone has helped make Nsekhe a better player.
"Just knowing the type of talent and accolades that he brings to the table and all the accomplishments he has had in his career and for him to be such the humble guy that he is," Nsekhe said of working with Williams. "To sit down talk to him and break things down, that is unheard of. You don't really see that too much in this league. For him to do that, it is a credit to his character."