Nic Purcell appreciates help, lack of ‘hazing’ from Eagles’ teammates

At 27, offensive tackle Nic Purcell is the Philadelphia Eagles’ oldest rookie. That alone would probably make for an interesting backstory.

But it gets more intriguing.

Purcell, who joined the Eagles as a tryout player in the spring after an eligibility snafu ended his collegiate career, is a New Zealand native and former rugby player who didn’t seriously take up football until two years ago.

Purcell told New Zealand media outlet that he’s been welcomed by the Eagles; he noted he was prepared for “a little more hazing.” However, Purcell noted that hazing “doesn’t really go on at the Eagles, so you just avoid the unnecessary stress.”

“The majority of senior players are really helpful just trying to help you transition … it’s a really good environment here,” Purcell told

According to, Purcell came to the U.S. in 2011 to attend Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, and he wasn’t originally planning to play football — a sport he had played in New Zealand — but a Golden West coach talked him into playing. He played two seasons for Golden West, but an attempt to play for Oregon — formerly led by new Eagles coach Chip Kelly — was unsuccessful, as the NCAA ruled him ineligible for playing in a pair of games for a team in New Zealand.

The question now is whether the 6-foot-6, 305-pound Purcell can show enough to stick with the Eagles in some capacity. The practice squad would seem more likely than the roster, considering his lack of football experience. However, he’s done well to make it this far; many tryout players never even get on an NFL roster.

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5 responses to “Nic Purcell appreciates help, lack of ‘hazing’ from Eagles’ teammates

  1. I’m very excited to see how the 53-man roster looks coming into this season for the Eagles. Implementing some 3-4 into our defense, and Chip Kelly’s new look offense…If we can get efficient QB play whether that is from Vick or Foles, the Eagles could very well surprise a lot of people this season. I can’t wait.

  2. Not that I ever expect this guy to do anything great, but if he was a Rugby player, I assume the guy can move a little bit at 6-6 305 he may have to put on a few pounds, but again, with the Rugby background he may have the core strength of a guy 15-20 lbs heavier.

    My guess would be Chip Kelly sees, or at least thinks he sees, something in this guy that fits exactly what he wants in an offensive lineman. After trying to get him to Oregon, he goes out and gets him to come to camp on a tryout. This guy will be around for this season on the practice squad at least. I think Kelly sees all the tools he wants, and now wants a chance to mold them

  3. I’m looking forward to 10 wins, if they get in thd playoffs, I don’t expect much. But it sure us refreshing with a new coach and system.

  4. He can thank andy for that, andy had zero tolerance for any kind of hazing. and righfully so its not needed, thats how you can start fights and it can seperate a lockerroom. hope chip is picking up where andy left off in this case

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