Long road to NFL for Longview Lobo - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Long road to NFL for Longview Lobo

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -  Long before he ran in New Orleans, Chris Ivory was blocking in Longview.

"Chris always wanted to run the ball a lot," said Ivory's step dad Kenny Gilliland.  "But I told him, there will be a time for you to run the ball"

Gilliland and Ivory's mother Judy saw Chris get that chance at Washington State.

"His (Chris) first touch was an 80 yard touchdown run," said Gilliland.  "We thought that was exciting, but we thought it was just luck.  As the games went on, we thought, hey, he can play at the next level."

But his road to the NFL took a detour as Ivory left Washington State to play at Tiffin, a Division II school in Ohio.

"It was a big change for him," said Gilliland.  "But he was willing to accept it and change his role, and still wanted to play football."

It would pay off as Ivory would receive the chance of a lifetime.

"When he got the call from the Saints, we were excited for him," said Gilliland.  "We knew that adversity had just won over for him."

Ivory's mother was proud.


"It took a while," Judy Ivory-Gilliland said. "But I felt like he would make it."

Ivory would take advantage the opportunity.  The undrafted free agent would lead the Saints in rushing last season.

"We really feel like he could have gone for 1,000 yards," said Gilliland.  "He missed 4 or 5 games"

Despite missing more than half this season with injury, Ivory continues to succeed.  Ivory has  the only 100 yard rushing game for the Saints this year, thanks in part to some parental advice

"The NFL has a saying," said mother Judy.  "Not for long.  So you need to stay healthy, that is what I tell him."

Now the proud parents could get the chance, to watch Chris run, on the games biggest stage.

"If they go to the Super Bowl we got our tickets."

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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