PHILADELPHIA -- Josh Huff was waiting by the phone, hoping it would buzz with a 215 area code.
He got his wish.
Huff, a former standout wide receiver at the University of Oregon, was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 86 overall pick in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday.
A major bonus was being reunited with Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who recruited him and also coached him at Oregon.
Huff is the first Oregon player drafted by the Eagles since Kelly took over before last season.
“I just kept my options open, man,” Huff said. “I know that the draft is very unpredictable and I just kept my options open and prayed about it. Prayed that I would be reunited with [Kelly] again. Now that I am reunited with him, I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Kelly said that Huff was the best remaining player on their board. It had nothing to do with the fact that Huff starred at Oregon.
“We added another quality receiver in Josh Huff, obviously I know him extremely well,” Kelly said. “Outstanding young man. Great position versatility with him. Josh played every position when we were at Oregon, so he's been an outside receiver, an inside receiver. He played a little bit of running back early in his career. He's returned kicks. He's an outstanding special teams player. You’re getting a physical football player just a shade under 6 feet, 205, 210 pounds. He can run. He has a nasty presence to himself, so he's not risk adverse to contact.
“He's going to get after people. He's a physical player in the run game. So really excited to see if we can add him to the group. One of the things, especially with our receivers and DBs and all those other positions, if you're not the starter, you've got to be a special teams player, and I think he'd be a standout at that also.”
Huff was virtually speechless when his phone buzzed and Kelly was on the other line. He still is.
“Man, it was exciting,” Huff said. “I’m very excited to be with my former head coach in college. It’s great to have an opportunity to be reunited with him again; it’s a real good feeling. He said he was going to draft me and he kept his word.”
What’s Huff’s best Kelly story from his days at Oregon?
“My best Chip Kelly story is from my sophomore year when we played Stanford,” Huff recalled. “I think it was a tight ball game at halftime. Coach Kelly came in and I never seen him so fired up and so rowdy. He came in, gave his speech and flipped the table over. That moment I had with Chip Kelly, just because I’ve never seen him act that way. It fired the team up and we were able to go out and get the victory.”