BUFFALO, NY - The NFL draft begins a month from today, and one of the hopefuls is from right here in Western New York. Luke Tasker grew up watching his father play in the NFL and now he's hoping this is his chance to follow in his dad's footsteps.
"I was surrounded by it my whole childhood and I knew that's what I wanted. That's what I always wanted. When it became a reality? I would say my last couple years of college I thought I might get a chance at least," said Luke Tasker, a Cornell University senior.
His father, Steve Tasker, a seven time pro-bowler and one of the best special teams players of all time said there's no question he's got a chance to make it. Steve was drafted in the 9th round in 1985 by the Houston Oilers before playing for the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to 1997.
"I was a marginal player and I got lucky. I got on a great team," said Steve. "Unlike him I had no film. I caught one ball my entire career at Northwestern University. I was just a kick returner. There was no film on me. On him, he's a much more polished wide receiver than I was."
Luke finished his career at Cornell with 171 receptions and 15 receiving touchdowns. He developed his skills as a wide receiver from his coaches at Cornell and before that, St. Francis High School. His dad, surprisingly, never played coach.
"Believe me, as a dad it was hard not to. It was hard," Steve recalled.
"In my opinion, I've always thought it was a conscious effort on his part to not be a coach-like father. To not be over-invested in it. To add too much pressure. Because there is a lot of pressure. His name is on the wall in the stadium. You know what I mean? It can add up a little bit," Luke said.
Steve may not have been Luke's coach, but he certainly is his mentor and role-model.
"His attitude and his aggression and his humility in the game and the way he was as a teammate, it's the things like that that I want to take from him," said Luck.
An important step in making an NFL roster came earlier this month at Cornell's pro day. Luke benched 225 pounds nine times ran the 40 yard dash in 4.59 seconds. Since then he and his agent have been in touch with several teams from the NFL and CFL, but really now Luke is in limbo.
"In the next 6 weeks it'll just be some hard work and saying some prayers and hoping things go my way."
Luke says he's 100% focused on the NFL at this point, but it's important to mention, he'll also have an Ivy League degree to fall back on. He majored in communications. With his dad working as a color analyst in the NFL, it could be another way he's following in Steve's footsteps.