He remembers it ever so vividly. Then again, it was just a few months ago.
Jay Bromley, at the time a defensive tackle for Syracuse, woke up and wandered down stairs on Christmas morning. He sat around the tree, the same way he always had, and began to open up his presents. As he ripped the paper off of his gifts, one caused his eyes to light up. It was the perfect one for a die-hard Giants’ fan.
“Giants’ bed sheets,” Bromley said with a smile.
Many nights the 22-year old tucked his massive 6-4, 305-pound frame underneath those same covers. By just about every count, they were put to good use.
That was until May 9, because, well, it wouldn’t be very professional for Bromley to sleep on them after being drafted by New York.
“I had to change that up a little bit,” Bromley said. “I couldn’t be a little kid anymore.”
The no longer ‘little,’ Bromley is hoping to make a Giant impact on Big Blue this year. The team he once spent Sunday after Sunday cheering to victory will now be the one he’s contributing to on the field. He has the size to play the run, along with the agility to get after the quarterback.
Last season for Syracuse, Bromley recorded 13.5 tackles for a loss, forced three fumbles and sacked the quarterback nine times. He attained career highs in nearly every statistical category. His sack and tackle for loss numbers were higher than his previous three years combined.
And none of it was by accident.
Despite having all of the physical tools, Bromley said he spent his senior season oblivious to his NFL Draft stock. Could he focus on where scouts thought he could be picked? Sure, but where were those opinions going to get him? Instead, he focused on a much simpler task: Be the best he could be.
“Whatever after that comes after that,” Bromley said. “I just wanted to be the best at my position because if I worked hard at that, everything else will just stack on top.”
That same mentality carried over on draft day. While so many NFL hopefuls dress in suits, watches, necklaces and chains, invite camera crews into their homes and soak in every minute of the fame while waiting for their name to be called, Bromley had other plans.
He and his girlfriend, Alexis, went out to rent a movie. Bromley’s Saturday night was supposed to be spent eating popcorn and watching Gravity. That’s when his phone rang with Tom Coughlin on the other end.
Hysteria set in at the Bromley household in Queens, New York. He still hasn’t seen the movie. Nor has it set in yet that he’s a member of the team whose logo once graced his bed.
It didn’t hit him when he signed his rookie contract. Not when he showed up for the offseason conditioning program or training camp. He even admitted it hadn’t hit him when he played in last week’s Hall of Fame preseason game.
But today? When he runs through the tunnel at MetLife Stadium? The same stadium he attended a game two years ago as a fan?
“Maybe, maybe,” Bromley said. “It just might at MetLife.”