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Cardinals Linebacker Kyle Soelle 'blessed' to suit up for his hometown team

Soelle, who played at Saguaro and ASU, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals after the 2023 NFL Draft. And for Soelle, it's a dream come true.

TEMPE, Ariz. — After the 2023 NFL Draft ended on April 29, the Arizona Cardinals signed 10 undrafted free agents, but one name stood out to all of us here in the Valley: linebacker Kyle Soelle

Soelle is a name we have heard for years. He played at Notre Dame Prep before transferring to Saguaro and winning a state title in his senior season (2016). Soelle then signed with ASU, becoming a team captain and a leader on the Sun Devil defense. 

And now, Soelle's next chapter keeps him right at home, as he looks to begin his NFL career with his hometown team. 

"For me, it was a no-brainer," Soelle said. "Like I said, hometown guy, hometown team, (it's) really just a dream come true." 

What Soelle is doing is rare here in the Valley. It is not often we see players go from starring on Friday Night Fever to being top players for ASU and then getting a chance to play for the Cardinals. And it is something Soelle could have only imagined. 

"This is every kid's dream to, one, play for their hometown team, but to get a chance in the NFL, so I'm really excited," Soelle said. 

Soelle is the latest play in the SagU to Cardinals pipeline, including DJ Foster, Christian Kirk, and Byron Murphy. And Soelle has already gotten some advice from Foster and Kirk. 

"They just said have a pro mindset," Soelle said. "Just go in, do the work, and be a pro and just do the best you can to help the team." 

This opportunity to play for the Cardinals has been a lifetime in the making for Soelle. 

"I came to games. I came to the open practices," Soelle said. "When we were playing for that Super Bowl (in February 2009), I was right there, eyes glued to the screen as a kid."  

Soelle watched that game when he was just nine years old, and now, 14 years later, he gets to suit up for the Cardinals, which he feels is a very special opportunity. 

"That hit me first when I was able to participate in the local day," Soelle said. "(I) got to put on that Cardinal red, and you just get a little more energy when you're from the hometown and a little more pride wearing that Cardinal red." 

However, Soelle did admit being an undrafted free agent was not how he pictured getting his shot in the NFL. 

"After the draft, I kind of felt a little bit of disappointment (because I) didn't hear my name called," Soelle said. "But everything happens for a reason, (I) kind of kept that mindset, (and my) family reminded me of the same thing." 

But then, Soelle got a call from someone he knows well, former ASU defensive line coach and new Cardinals outside linebackers coach Robert Rodriguez. 

"When I first got that call from coach Rodriguez, he just let me know the opportunity, and (to) just come in and do my best every day and get better as a football player and the rest will all work itself out. It was hard for me to say no," Soelle said. 

And now, Soelle can't wait for his NFL journey to continue. 

"This is a dream come true and every day coming to work, I'm going to make sure to have a smile on my face because I feel really blessed and privileged to have this opportunity." 

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