The NFL Draft is just days away. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many players, especially for players from small schools like SUNY Cortland’s JJ Laap and Cole Burgess.

What You Need To Know

  • The NFL Draft begins Thursday night 

  • Cortland's Cole Burgess and JJ Laap are hoping to hear their names called

  • The duo helped lead Cortland to its first ever Division III national championship in December

Burgess says this opportunity has been years in the making.

“I've been working for this my whole life," Burgess said. "And and it's finally all coming to fruition right now.”

The Capital Region native is joined by fellow Cortland wide receiver Laap, a tandem going through the process every step of the way.

“To be doing it together, going through the process, not only were we teammates, but now we're going through this whole pursuing-NFL-opportunities process with him," Laap said. "It's pretty cool.”

The duo helped Cortland reach the top of the small-college football world, winning the Division III national championship in December. And now they look to prove two receivers from upstate New York that played at a small Division III school can make it in the pros.

“There's not many guys from my area who who are in the NFL," Burgess said. "I know there's a few NBA, few MLB, but there's not a lot of NFL players that I can even think of on top of my head. So to have a chance to be that guy to represent the upstate New York like that would be ... an honor, honestly, and something that I'm going to work for every day.”

"I really believe that you get what you give. And I've given a lot to this and I'm ready to keep on working. And if you're another Division III player and you have these dreams to keep working hard and keep pursuing it, you never know,” Laap said.