By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The University of Delaware has a proud tradition of sending players to the NFL,  and this year they have three hoping to make the jump to pros, including linebacker Paul Worrilow.

A three-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection who finished fifth all-time in tackles with the Blue Hens, Worrilow signed on as a rookie free agent with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Once when we got down there at rookie mini-camp, that’s definitely when it kind of hit me that this is for real,” Worrilow tells KYW Newsradio. “This is now my job and will consume all my time from here on.”

And he says the mental challenge is the biggest one right now as he transitions from college to the NFL.

“The playbook being thrown at you so fast, picking it up at a much quicker rate,” Worrilow says.  “That was definitely the hardest change from college.”

The Wilmington native says he figured the rookie free agent route would be the path he would have to take to the NFL, and the Falcons made it pretty clear they were interested in his services.

Paul Worrilow (credit: University Of Delaware)

Paul Worrilow (credit: University Of Delaware)

“Kind of the week before (the draft) they called and told me they were kind of light in depth at linebacker and that I was on their radar,” Worrilow says.  “Towards the end of the draft they called again and talked about a free agent deal, and it seemed like the best situation for me.”

The 6’1″, 232-pound Worrilow breaks down where the Falcons see him fitting in.

“I’m playing inside backer, middle,” Worrilow says. “And I definitely have a chance to crack the special teams line-up.”

Joining Worrilow in the NFL from the 2012 Delaware squad are defensive back Ricky Tunstall who inked a rookie free agent deal with Cleveland, and cornerback Marcus Burley who is in Jacksonville.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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