The Atlanta Falcons were back at work on Thursday as the team prepares to wrap up a long road stretch on Sunday in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers.
The Falcons' road trip to Carolina in Week 11 is sure to mean a little bit more for rookie linebacker Prince Shembo.
The Charlotte native thrived at Ardrey Kell High School (NC), earning All-American honors during his time there. He became a starter on the varsity team as freshman in 2006, the very last time he played his current position with the Falcons, inside linebacker.
After high school, Shembo took his athletic skills and study habits to the University of Notre Dame, recording starts in each of his final 26 games for the Irish. His diligence paid off, not just on the football field, as he earned a degree in film, television and theatre from the College of Arts and Letters in just 3.5 years.
The Falcons loved what they saw from Shembo and selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft (137th overall), later moving him to inside linebacker. Since arriving in Flowery Branch, Shembo has continued to soak up the playbook as much as possible. He also uses his film degree every day, watching hours of practice and game footage to better understand his new role.
"I learn something new every day," Shembo said. "Studying for the Panthers and all the read-option stuff they do, I used to be an end, so, now playing as an inside guy, every meeting for me includes something new. I'm thankful to my coaches for doing a great job of teaching me and getting me ready for each game."