Silas Redd came to Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., on Saturday unsure of his future.
After impressing during preseason with 157 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, Redd believed he had done enough to grab a spot on the final 53-man roster, but also knew that his teammates had strong performances as well.
But, after a short chat with Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, Redd got the confirmation he was looking for – he made the active roster.
"Anxiety was at an all-time high," Redd said about arriving at Redskins Park on Saturday. "(But I tried to) stay positive and pray it out with my family. It was a high intensity time.
"I just came in for work and made it to the locker room, and I didn't get stopped so I kind of had a sense of what was going on. I went to go talk to Coach Gruden and thanked him, and he kind of confirmed it there."
Gruden said Monday Redd can boast all three skills for a running back: running, blocking and pass catching.
"His consistency was pretty good for a rookie," the first-year head coach said. "Hats off to Silas Redd coming in as an undrafted free agent and taking advantage of his reps and winning the job right now."
Redd signed with the Redskins as a college free agent in May after an up-and-down college career.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back ran for more than 1,200 yards as a sophomore at Penn State, but transferred to USC prior to his junior season. There, he struggled to stay healthy in his final two seasons and appeared in only six games a senior.
While the injury-riddled senior season may have prevented him from being drafted, it did not have any impact on his performance with the Redskins during the preseason.
"I worked really hard (and) prayed a lot about it since college," he explained of his dream of making it to the NFL. "(I had a lot) of adversity going undrafted and really being the sixth running back and not really have a chance, (it's) just a testament to my hard work and how I was brought up.
"I couldn't be more happy."
While he's reached that lifelong dream now, Redd knows that making the roster would mean little in the long run if he didn't perform at a high standard.
"I know there are a lot of expectations that come with being on the roster, and I am going to try to do my best to contribute the best way I can to this team," he said. "I worked hard for a spot and I earned it. That's never going to stop; the grind never stops now that I made it. It hard getting in and it's even harder to stay."
Punctuating his preseason performance with a one-yard touchdown in the Redskins' 24-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Redd believes that what he showed during the four-game preseason slate is something he can carry over into the regular season.
"Whatever they need me to do, kind of that utility back," Redd said of his role moving forward. "Just get better at my craft every day, all tools and all phases of the game, and whenever they need me they'll call my number."
One possible area to which Redd could contribute right away is on special teams. Admitting that his experience on special teams was limited before coming to Washington, Redd said he's doing everything possible to work on being a solid special teams player from the get-go.
"Just more film work, getting in there with the coaches working on my techniques, and really making that a priority," Redd said of his goals as a special teamer. "It's something I plan to do."