Newtown Square, Pa. – With the upcoming NFL Draft quickly approaching, Marple Newtown alumnus and current Millersville University student-athlete, Joey Pham, has his eyes set on playing at the next level.
The Millersville product has been preparing for the draft by going to bowl games, such as the National Bowl and Dream Bowl. Pham participated in the National Bowl already, which features the top seniors at the Division II and Division III level.
“The National Bowl was a great experience where I got really good feedback from coaches and got to speak with scouts, agents, and learn what the process ahead is going to be like,” Pham stated.
Additionally, he has been training to improve his combine specific drills and is currently set to attend the NFL Regional Combine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Pham credited his high school, college coaches, and family support for helping him through his journey.
Since his days at Marple Newtown, Pham has improved his game in the secondary everyday.
“I’ve improved my game at defensive back dating back to Marple Newtown. Learning how to play the position in all aspects, technique, eye disciple, how to read receivers, learn their tendencies and trying to bait quarterbacks into what I want them to do.”
Playing collegiately at Millersville not only helped his skills on the field, but also allowed him to grow as a person. This involved his ability to mature, handle adversity, and overcome obstacles.
“Go through the problem and not around it,” is a phrase from head coach Greg Breitbach that has stuck with Pham.
The Broomall native will be the first one to tell you that being a student-athlete is not a walk in the park. There are several responsibilities as they must balance a planned out athletic schedule to go along with academics. One aspect that Pham will miss is the time he spent with his teammates. Whether being in the locker room or helping each other at 6 a.m. workouts, these are the memories that will be remembered.
Pham made the most of his time on the field at Millersville, piling up several awards and honors. In 2014, the defensive back recorded eight pass breakups in a single game against Cheyney to set a Millersville and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) record. His efforts came one shy of a NCAA Division II record.
In his senior campaign, Pham picked up right where he left off. The senior was a preseason All-American honorable mention selection on defense and did not disappoint.
He led the PSAC East in most passes defended (13) this season at Millersville, while also capturing a pair of PSAC East Defensive Player of the Week awards. For his career, he racked up 6 interceptions, 28 pass breakups, and 120 tackles in the secondary.
Of those six interceptions, four of which occurred this season. One memorable interception was returning it to the house from 48 yards out in his final game as a Marauder against Edinboro. This proved to be a senior night to remember for Pham, who wanted to go out with a bang.
His fourth quarter interception sealed the victory, defeating Edinboro by a final score of 31-21.
With his collegiate career in the books, Pham’s goal now is to attend an NFL camp and showcase his talents to the best of his ability. Fortunate for him, his love for the game is a reason why he will never work a day in his life. He hopes to continue his dreaming of going professional, but if not he will pursue other options such as arena or overseas.
A final piece of advice that Pham has for aspiring football players is to “enjoy it while it last and try to make the most of it.”
Pham will graduate Millersville University in 2017 with a sociology degree that focuses on criminology.