MINNEAPOLIS - Chris Streveler made his first college start at quarterback as a Gophers freshman in 2014 against San Jose State. He completed one pass. It netted 7 yards. That glorious moment came with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.
The Gophers coaching staff showed so little faith in Streveler's passing ability as a dual-threat quarterback that they ultimately moved him to wide receiver.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. Streveler made his NFL debut for the Arizona Cardinals. As the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.
This isn't the average rags-to-riches story of a long shot. This one is more like straight fiction.
Chris Streveler, an NFL quarterback? Like, how?
"I wasn't really playing quarterback when I left (the Gophers)," he said Monday on a Zoom call from Arizona. "I was looking at potentially playing receiver someplace because that's what I ended up playing at the end of my time at Minnesota. I was really liking it. I felt like I started doing some good things and kind of figuring out what to do."
Life is about opportunity, and Streveler's football arc is a testament to his ability to maximize a second chance to play a position he loves. The University of South Dakota took him as a quarterback as a graduate transfer and he set 20 program records in becoming one of the top players in FCS, which opened the door to the Canadian Football League.
He started his pro career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers down the depth chart, but circumstances opened another door to regular playing time and then a starting job and a Grey Cup championship last November.
Streveler's athleticism and versatility caught the eye of several NFL teams who invited him for a tryout. The Cardinals signed him in February. He faced long odds again, especially when the pandemic wiped out the entire offseason. Pfft, no sweat. He made the 53-man roster out of training camp and beat out Brett Hundley as the backup to Kyler Murray.
"It definitely has been a bit of whirlwind," he said. "I'd be lying if I told you I hadn't taken a couple of times here and there to sit back and reflect on this crazy journey I've had in the last few months."