RENTON, Wash. — The last several months have been a whirlwind for Bozeman native Will Dissly.
The former Montana Gatorade football player of the year was drafted in the fourth round at overall pick No. 120 by the Seattle Seahawks. The first minicamp was held in Renton, Washington over the weekend, and Dissly got to speak to reporters for the first time as an NFL tight end.
He was noticeably comfortable at the podium for his first dealing with a professional media session. But for the former University of Washington Husky, the transition felt natural.
“This is a great fit for me because it is comfortable,” he told local reporters. “This is my home. I have buddies over there in my back yard (at Washington).”
But complacency is not accompanying that comfort. It’s the same home, but a new and bigger gig, one that he is having to quickly adjust to.
“It’s a new system, so I’m learning. I’m excited to get some help from the vets and see how they do it,” he said. “It’s a lot faster tempo but (at Washington) it’s a really professional organization.”
There was a change in garb for Dissly, who caught passes and fought through drills wearing No. 88, the number last worn by the now-traded Jimmy Graham. He wore No. 98 with the Huskies, an unusual number for his position. But Dissly began his college career as a defensive lineman, and just decided to stick with 98, digits he is ready to part from at the next level.
“I think I will (miss wearing 98) but it was a good college number and I’m excited to see what I can do in 88,” he said. “I’m just trying to be the best player in that number that I can.”
Unlike the man who donned that jersey before him, Dissly comes into camp as a guy more known for his blocking skills than his hands. While he knows he has pass-catching abilities, the rookie is just focused on proving his worth on the field.
“I’m just trying to add value to this organization,” he explained. “Whatever they want me to do, whether it’s blocking or catching … to make it in this league, you have to come prepared every day and every down and give it 100 percent effort.”
Whether it has been going from Class AA football to the Pac-12, switching positions, or making a name for himself in front of NFL scouts, effort has not been an issue for Dissly. While focused, he also showed off his fun side in his first media appearance.
He has earned the nickname “Uncle Will” through his college playing days, a name he has willingly had fun with.
“Well, I do have a niece,” he said. “But I think it might have something to do with the hairline. But I’ll leave that up to opinion.”
If he wanted to, he could invest a bit of his contract bonus into growing back some of that red hair. But after signing the dotted line for the first time, he’s opting to be smart and frugal with his finances.
“(Signing) was a cool, cool thing and I worked really hard to get to this point,” he said. “It was a cool moment, but, at the same time, I play for the love of the game.”
After some ribbing, it became apparent Dissly had at least thought about one purchase.
“Maybe some golf clubs,” he said.
For now, Dissly has at least one new club to play with, the Seattle Seahawks. As he gets settled into a new system, maybe he will have time to hit the course. For now, the focus is on giving the same effort that has gotten him a week into his dream career.