Spoto alum Geronimo Allison to join Packers
Grandparents, cousins, friends and former coaches arrived. So did servers and appetizers and entrees and soft drinks.
But the phone call Geronimo Allison had spent a lifetime awaiting never did.
The former Illinois -- and Spoto High -- receiver arrived on the patio of the Lee Roy Selmon's in Brandon around noon Saturday, only to hang around anxiously as the day evolved into one long drag route.
Drag it did. Roughly seven hours after his arrival, most of the 60 or so well-wishers who had shown up expecting a celebration had come and gone. So too had the NFL Draft's final four rounds. Allison spent most of the day nestled on a sofa in the patio's corner, taking a periodic call on his cell phone and saying little.
"Man, it seemed to last forever," Allison said. "As teams went by, as picks went by, as time went by, it just seemed like an eternity. ... But things happen for a reason."
That reason could begin to reveal itself Sunday, when Allison boards a plane for Green Bay.
Moments after the draft's conclusion, Allison -- who estimates he heard from every NFL club at some point during the weekend -- agreed to free-agent terms with the Packers.
The kid who dug himself out of two years of academic ineligibility at Spoto to evolve into an NFL prospect now has a chance to complete his mission: providing for a family of five (including a single mom, brother and maternal grandparents) who still reside in his boyhood three-bedroom Progress Village home.
"This is just part of my story that God has planned for me," said Allison, who totaled 106 catches at Illinois the past two seasons after helping lead Iowa Western Community College to a juco national title in 2012. "I'm just gonna embrace it."