Myles Pierce has plenty of football role models to look up to.
His father, Michael Pierce, played in the Senior Bowl in 1990 as a running back from Tulane. His older brother, also Michael Pierce, is the Ravens’ starting nose tackle.
An inside linebacker from The Citadel, Myles went to last week’s Senior Bowl in his quest to follow in their footsteps and make it to the NFL.
Playing for the Ravens? That would be a bonus.
“I’m just here to prove I can play with these [big-school] guys,” Myles said at last week’s Senior Bowl. “But I would definitely look forward to playing with my brother again. I definitely hope for that.”
The Pierce family is from Daphne, Ala., just across the bay from Mobile. Their mom is even named Daphne, and she runs the check-in desk at the event.
Michael typically goes to the Senior Bowl to watch the prospects and catch up with any he knows, but this year, he sat in the bleachers with a keen eye on his little brother.
The two went to rival schools in the Southern Conference, with Michael at Samford and Myles at The Citadel. They even faced off against each other in 2015, with Myles and The Citadel coming out on top, 44-25.
Michael went on to be an undrafted gem of the Ravens, making the team in 2016 and becoming a full-time starter last year in just his second season. He made 49 tackles and had one sack last year.
Now Myles is in a similar situation, hoping he can catch on with an NFL team somewhere. According to NFLDraftScout.com, he’s projected to go undrafted. But at least he got a Senior Bowl invite.
“I did not play in this game, nor did I get invited,” Michael said. “At this point, he’s looking a lot better than I am.”
Myles led The Citadel in tackles (91) and tackles for loss (13) as a senior. He had a sack against then No. 1-ranked Clemson. Myles will graduate with a degree in accounting and holds a 3.9 GPA at the South Carolina military academy.
“You’re looking at the most physical player on the North side of the Senior Bowl,” Michael said, giving a sales pitch for his little brother. “We’ll show he’s the most physical linebacker in the draft.”
Like Michael, who critics said was too short for the NFL, Myles will have to overcome the size stigma. Standing in at 5-foot-11, 227 pounds, he was the smallest linebacker at the Senior Bowl.
“It definitely puts a chip on my shoulder,” Myles said. “At the end of the day, it’s football. It’s all about mentality. Size plays a part, but as long as you have that mentality, you’re going to be good to go.
“I’m a downhill thumper. I’m somebody that’s going to come to work every day and work hard to do everything I can to get that roster spot.”
Myles said he and Michael haven’t spent too much time talking about playing together in the NFL, though it’s something Myles’ teammates would often bring up. The Ravens have a rich tradition of developing undrafted linebackers and are always looking for more.
Myles said the best advice he’s gotten from his big brother is to just “handle your business and everything will fall into place.”
“It’s a blessing just to see him out here,” Michael said. “And wherever he ends up, I’ll be happy.”