Texas Teen Catches His Own 40-Yard ‘Hail Mary’ Pass, Gets Invited To NFL Draft
In a story that exemplifies the power of the Internet to make someone an overnight celebrity, one Texas teen saw his dreams come true after receiving a personal invite to the NFL draft from Mr. “Primetime” Deion Sanders on “Good Morning America” earlier this month.
Gary Haynes, a 17-year-old high school junior from Manvel, Texas, became an Internet celebrity when he posted a Vine last month of himself catching his own 40-yard ‘Hail Mary’ pass, a video that has now been shared more than 400,000 times.
“I didn’t think it was gonna blow up to be this big to be honest,” Haynes told Houston’s KHOU.
I just kept hearing my phone going off and looked at it and it was twitter from ESPN, Sports Nation.”
Less than a month later, Haynes was invited to New York to talk about his now-famous football skills on “Good Morning America,” where he stunned the hosts, telling them it only took him “three to four” tries to get the pass right. Haynes also said he’s now being looked at by football programs at universities like University of Houston and Texas Tech.
Before being prompted to show off another one of his “tricks” (just the usual throwing-a-football-while-backflipping-and-catching-it move), the teen got the surprise of his life when his idol, NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys player Deion Sanders, walked onstage to surprise Haynes—or young “Geion,” as his mom calls him.
Sanders whipped out a pair of tickets inviting Haynes to the NFL Draft, sending him into a complete state of shock and awe.
The power of the Internet, indeed. Watch the heartwarming video below.