By ALEX SPONSELLER Providence native and Bishop Hendricken graduate Kwity Paye made history last Thursday night, becoming the first Rhode Islander in the modern draft era to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, as the Indianapolis Colts
By ALEX SPONSELLER Providence native and Bishop Hendricken graduate Kwity Paye made history last Thursday night, becoming the first Rhode Islander in the modern draft era to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, as the Indianapolis Colts swiped him off the board with the 21st pick.
The 6-foot-4, 271-pound defensive end from Michigan was considered one of the best prospects at his position in this year’s draft class. The Colts said goodbye to multiple defensive ends in free agency, so they will likely be leaning heavily on the rookie from the start.
Paye was brought to the United States at six months old with his mother who was a Liberian refugee. They settled in Providence, and his goal was always to attend Bishop Hendricken to have a chance to play at a major college program and possibly the NFL.
His hard work paid off last week as it all came to fruition for both him and his mother.
“It's been a great couple days for Hendricken football. We’re just so proud of him for everything and everything that he’s done. I’m looking forward to seeing him make a positive difference in that Indianapolis community not just on the field but off of it. I know that he’s going to try to do some great things,” said Bishop Hendricken Head Coach Keith Croft.
Croft is excited to see Paye’s impact next fall and is happy to see him be selected by a top-notch organization in Indy.
“They’ve got some young guys on defense, they’ve got a few other pass rushers there. I think that they’re excited about having him there and he fits the mold of what they’re trying to do defensively. The people I’ve spoken to, including his agent, have really raved about the class of the organization. I’m happy for Kwity, It’s going to be fun to watch him play the next couple of years,” said Croft.
Prior to Hendricken’s home playoff game against North Kingstown last weekend, the school did a video tribute to Paye which played at halftime as well. Hawks running back Isaiah Emmanuel had a big game in the win, and sees Paye as a source of inspiration for all Rhode Islanders that are looking to make a name for themselves on the gridiron.
“It’s awesome, seeing him be drafted in the first round, it’s so motivational,” said Emmanuel. “His story is amazing and I want to aspire to be just like him.”