Notre Dame Academy grad Charneski Chasing NFL Dream

By Ryan Rodig |

Published 04/29 2014 10:19PM

Updated 04/29 2014 10:41PM

(WFRV-TV) - "Like Russell Wilson's dad said to him, 'Why not you?'" said Hunter Charneski Tuesday as he took a break from training at D-1 in Green Bay.  "I just kind of live by that and try to just play with a chip on my shoulder and say why not me?"

Another thing, Charneski likes it loud while he's training.  The music pulsates off the walls of the facility co-owned by Packers all-time leading rusher Ahman Green.  Perhaps that's because the Green Bay native and Grand Valley State alum likes to quiet the outside noise, those negative voices that say "you can't."

Charneski, who played high school football at a Notre Dame Academy, has been busy since graduating college transitioning from a 260 pound defensive lineman in college to a 240 pound fullback with dreams of playing in the NFL. It's a position he played in high school, but going back to it's still been a challenge.

"Getting used to playing with a ball everyday definitely," said Charneski when asked what the toughest part of the transition has been.  "Catching the ball, catching and running, tucking all that stuff."

Charneski faces an uphill battle due to his position switch, the fullback position fading away in the modern NFL, and the fact he's coming from a Division II program.  But he says his college compares favorably to many D-1 programs.

"Grand Valley is a little different than any other D-2 schools, seeing as though we have 5 or 6 in the NFL right now," said Charneski.  "Scouts come to our practices once a week throughout the year.  We're blessed to have that exposure."

The Green Bay Packers drafted WR Charles Johnson in the 7th round last year out of Grand Valley State, and signed OL Nick McDonald a few years ago as an undrafted free agent from Charenski's school as well.  So there is hope, and it helps to have a contact like fellow NDA grad Eliot Wolf, the Packers Director of Pro Personnel.

Charneski worked out for scouts at his own pro day at Grand Valley, and Wolf helped him get into another at Eastern Michigan.  He also participated in the NFL's regional combine in Indianapolis.  He's talked to many teams including Packers.

"Obviously having that connection with Eliot Wolf is great because him and I both went to Notre Dame Academy," said Charneski.  "So we have that connection right away.  It only takes one team to like you right?"

And when he needs a little extra assurance, Charneski doesn't quote Russell Wilson's father, but instead his own dad, Michael, who died of brain cancer when Hunter was 14.

"When my dad was on his death bed if you will, he told me to chase whatever dream I have," added Charneski.  "He said 'with Hunter there are no limits,' that's a direct quote from him.  I promised him that I would do whatever it took to get that phone call from a team."

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