INDIANAPOLIS – On those early fall mornings making the drive from downtown up to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Jack Doyle occasionally finds himself in awe.
Honestly, who can blame him?
Here's a guy who grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis, spending many teenage evenings working as a Pacers ball boy.
Doyle's place of employment is now at the other major professional organization in town.
Those few moments of daze don't last too long for Doyle because, frankly, they can't.
"I think it's something I will really appreciate later on in life," Doyle says of playing for his hometown Colts. "It's something that is hard to appreciate now because I'm so focused on getting better every day and trying to do the best that I can.
"I'd be lying to you if I didn't think, 'Wow, I'm driving to West 56th street to the Colts Complex right now.' That's pretty cool."
Just like fellow Indy native Joe Reitz, the story of Doyle finding his way onto the Colts 53-man roster is quite remarkable.
Doyle was a late bloomer in attracting Division I teams, almost all of them wanting him as a walk-on, out of Cathedral High School back in 2008.
From finding a college, to learning his postseason All-Star fate and then his NFL future, it's been very sudden for Doyle.
-He finally signed with Western Kentucky University after visiting the Sun Belt school just three days before National Signing Day.
-After an All-Sun Belt career at tight end for the Hilltoppers, Doyle was invited to the prestigious Senior Bowl the Friday before game week (an event where the week of practices leading up to the actual game are scouted heavily).
-Doyle then went undrafted in 2013. He signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent but didn't make the final roster, despite impressing head coach Mike Munchak, due to a logjam at tight end.
Just as Doyle was finalizing his paperwork to join the Titans practice squad, a member of the organization informed him he would be heading home, and for good reasons.
"I was shocked when they claimed me. I started shaking and all that kind of stuff," Doyle told 1070 The Fan earlier this offseason.
"It's awesome for my family. I'm happy for them that they get this experience. But what I've tried to do is remember that this is a job and why I'm here. It doesn't matter where I am or that I'm in my hometown. I'm here to do a job and that's what I tried to do last year."
That job included playing in 15 games (four starts), and being the most frequent option as the Colts No. 2 tight end behind Coby Fleener.
With Dwayne Allen back in the fold, there is once again a numbers crunch at the tight end position.
Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts loves the trust factor he has in Doyle and knows that the second-year tight end "is always going to be efficient and available" in the team's offensive scheme.
Come July 23rd, Doyle will be back living a dream and he doesn't have plans on waking up from it anytime soon.
"It's crazy to even think back to my 15-14 year-old self. If someone would have told him where he would be at, he wouldn't believe you."