July 9, 2007 07:34 PM
MILILANI (KHNL) - Aaron Francisco noted this weekend's youth football clinic was not only a chance to lend a helping hand, but reminded him on how far he's come.
"I was in their shoes how many years ago when I was in high school," Francisco said. "All the work I put in is finally paying off."
But after standout stops both at Kahuku High School, then at Brigham Young.
The 2005 NFL Draft came and went with Francisco left in the cold, forcing him to sign on as a free agent, with the Arizona Cardinals.
"My first year was stressful because I didn't know if be on the team," Francisco said, "I was getting cut, I got cut like three times and then I finally went back to the Cardinals. You know I kept with it and I stayed with it and I'm happy I did or I wouldn't be where I am today."
Today Francisco's gone from barley hanging on, to being a guy the Cardinals have to hold on to.
Near the end of last season, Francisco signed a four-year contract extension with Arizona, following a season in which he was selected as a special teams alternate to the Pro Bowl.
"I was an alternate," Francisco said, "I was close but not close enough but hopefully we can do something about that next year. I'm actually looking forward to fighting for a starting job this so I'm looking forward to that this coming training camp."
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