Ed Odeven Reporting

Pat TillmanPat Tilllman’s U.S. Army portrait in 2003. PUBLIC DOMAIN

This column on former Arizona State Sun Devil and Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman, who later served in the U.S. Army and died in Afghanistan in April 2004, appeared in the State Press, ASU’s student newspaper on Aug. 27, 1998.

Gutsy Tillman proves worth to Cardinals
Ex-Sun Devil standout carries intensity to NFL

By Ed Odeven

The pessimists, commonly referred to as scouts or “talent evaluators,” claimed he was too small.

They said he was too slow. They said he wasn’t athletic enough. They said he didn’t have what it takes to be a National Football League defender.

Y’all were wrong.

Pat Tillman has what it takes to be a solid contributor to the Arizona Cardinals defense. The team has enough faith in the 1997 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year to promote him to first-unit linebacker in nickel situations — which…

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