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Coaches, teammates like what NIU and Sycamore alumnus Schepler brings to the Titans

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 7:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 9:19 a.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Tennessee Titans tight end and Northern Illinois University graduate Jason Schepler of Sycamore, Ill. on the sideline during an NFL preseason game against the News Orleans Saints August 15, 2014 in New Orleans.

The number of undrafted rookie free agents who make the rosters of NFL teams are few, and for every success story there are dozens more who fail to make the cut.

The Tennessee Titans currently have 27 undrafted free agents who are attempting to make the squad during training camp. That includes Northern Illinois and Sycamore alum, tight end Jason Schepler.

An undrafted free agent signee with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2013 NFL Draft, Schepler was released during the final cuts of training camp prior to the start of the season. He was signed to a free agent contract by the Titans during the offseason to provide depth at both tight end and fullback.

Like last season with the 49ers, Schepler’s odds of making the Titans roster are long. His compeition this year includes veterans Delanie Walker, Craig Stevens and Taylor Thompson, but Schepler has made an impression on his position coach and teammates.

“He’s one of my favorites out here,” said Titans tight ends coach Mike Mularkey. “The guy does everything you ask him to do, he’s gonna do it.”

Mularkey knows a thing or two about the position he coaches, having played in the league himself for nine seasons.

“He’s the low man on the totem pole right now, or one of the guys who is not a veteran who has come in here and really established himself,” Mularkey said. “It would be easy to get off track and start counting numbers, but he’s never given that impression. He’s worked as hard from day one, as today, nothing has changed about his approach. I know he studies off the field, because he is very intelligent on the field, he could coach these guys on the field, that’s how much he puts into this game. ”

During the Titans preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, Schepler was limited to just one reception for only four yards, but his work ethic and ability have not been lost on his teammates.

Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger has spent the most time of all the current quarterbacks on the roster, and he is a fan of Schepler.

“Schep’s a tough, hardnosed guy,” Mettenberger said. “He doesn’t get to many beauty points, but he gets the job done."

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