INDIANAPOLIS – When Daniel Adongo runs out onto the practice field this Friday it will mark the one-year anniversary of his initial arrival to the United States.
A few hundred yards south of the Anderson practice fields is a dormitory parking lot where Adongo first addressed an NFL media scrum, sharing his remarkable journey that brought him to a small college north of Indianapolis.
While his physical frame awed those in attendance, the intellectual side of Adongo is a major factor why he has the makeup to continue to embark on such a historic transition.
"Come to think about it…I didn't know how to put on pads, I didn't know the play calling schemes," Adongo recalled near the end of the Colts minicamp.
"I came in not on a whim but with a dream and a goal and steps in place to achieve that. Looking back at it, it's almost humorous to think about it but it's given me confidence to grow further as a player, because where I started from, to where I am now is a huge indication of hard work and confidence and preparation and how far it can get you to achieving your goals."
With family and friends halfway across the globe, Adongo was a constant in the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this offseason.
Whether it was dissecting film or reshaping his body to north of 280 pounds, Adongo thanks the Colts veterans for instilling confidence in him to succeed at the highest of levels.
Adongo is a thinker and lives through poetic sayings in his endeavor to try and be a success story in the NFL.
"When I look back on it, I made a lot of improvements but that doesn't matter. You've got to keep on trekking forward, keep on going forward," Adongo says.
"Like when you are climbing a mountain and you get to a different summit, you look back and you're happy about that but the next step is going to be harder then the first summit that you made and then harder and harder. The air gets thinner and thinner. As you get to the top of your game and you understand what you need to do it gets harder and harder just to make that small, 0.6 percent improvement because you are already a fine tune athlete and it could be even your mentality or even what your eating, nutrition or what you're listening to."
As Adongo prepares for his second NFL training camp, the questions aren't whether or not he can put his pads on without help, but where exactly he fits into the Colts defense.
Some might be satisfied with just reaching the NFL after having never played the game of football, but not one with Adongo's pedigree.
"My mindset was to be a football player so it didn't matter whether I had never played. If I see it in my head you've got to conceive it, believe it and then retrieve it," Adongo says. "Those are the three things I want to go by this year. Conceive your dream, believe your dream and then retrieve it. Go get it."
"It's just like a gladiator. A gladiator doesn't prepare just for the sake of preparation. He doesn't go out just to train hard and practice hard. He goes out and practices hard because he knows he's preparing for the fight of his life. In the NFL, every Sunday is a fight of your life for that win. That's my mentality. It's that gladiatorial mentality. I want to go out there, give my all and regardless of anything, do what it takes to win."