CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Family, friends and former coaches gathered in Clayton on Thursday night to wait for Keion White's number to be called.
Keion is a former Garner High School football standout who is slated to be picked in the late first or early second round out of Georgia Tech.
"It's very exciting," said James White, Keion's father. "It's kind of overwhelming at times but the most important thing is I want to continue to celebrate him and his whole journey with friends and family."
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Keion was in Kansas City on-site at the draft but about 50 people came to Clayton to watch in the subdivision his grandparents live in.
"It's just very surreal to think of," said Ike Zeigler, Keion's grandfather.
Keion's accomplishments from high school and college were on display as you walked into the room Thursday.
"We've been going to every practice from 5 years old," said Diane Zeigler. "We never missed any games from college to high school and when he did his Garner thing."
Keion only got one scholarship out of Garner High School from Old Dominion. He played there for two years before transferring to Georgia Tech.
Keion had to sit out most of the 2021 season with an injury and also switched positions from tight end to defensive end.
"So much talent, he was a running back back then," said Marcus Yulfo, who helps head up the Knightdale Football Association where Keion played from 6-12 years old. "It shows that other kids who grew up in this county in this area that it's possible for you if you put in the hard work like Keion did."
James said Keion visited 13 teams but he drew the most interest from Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
His grandmother said she never lost faith in her grandson.
"Even he says 'I never would've thought I'd get this far,'" said Diane. "He would always say that. I said 'Don't say that!' Do your best and forget the rest and whatever happens will happen."
Keion was not drafted Thursday night in the first round, but his family hopes and expects to see him drafted Friday night. Draft coverage begins on ABC11 at 7 p.m.