NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) — The NFL Draft is just a week away as former Nacogdoches Dragon Josh Thompson is just one of our east texas athletes who preparing to hear their name called.

We caught up with him in his old stomping grounds, as he gets ready to take the first step in his professional career.

After years in Austin covering receivers for the Texas Longhorns, former Nacogdoches Dragon Josh Thompson has returned to East Texas, preparing for the NFL draft.

“It’s been a dream come true since playing in little league stuff like that and everything just falling into place for me and just trusting in the lord with this process and I’m enjoying it,” said Thompson.

Many draft analysts say Josh’s height and size are a weakness but he says that’s not the case, it’s all about heart.

“You can look at the tape and turn the tape on and see how hard I play and how hard I hit. I don’t care if you’re bigger than me or anything but like I said it’s not about the size but the heart,” declares Thompson.

East Texas is well represented in the NFL and Thompson says that adds more fuel to his fire.

“It pushes me to be more successful and it drives being from a small town, it’s just different being from east texas because you don’t have the resources growing up to attend all these camps and stuff but being able to be from a small town like I said and take on this responsibility, it means the world to me,” exclaims Thompson.

Thompson hopes his story inspires other East Texas athletes.

“Just showing the younger generation that they can do it and to all the younger kids, it doesn’t matter where you come from but it’s about how hard you work,” adds Thompson.

Josh says his family has been behind him throughout his journey, and his grandparents hold a special place in his heart.

“I do it for my grandma and my grandpa who passed away so everything like that is my why and it keeps pushing me to the end,” declares Thompson.

The NFL draft starts Thursday, April 28th, as this former Dragon, looks to see years of hard work pay off.