Former Raider still aims for NFL roster spot

Justin Morris, Contributor

Feature Photo By: The Denver Post- John Tidwell swats down a pass in training camp. He signed a contract with the Broncos for the pre-season.

Right in time for the start of the NFL season, John Tidwell, Rangeview High School graduate and recently-released Denver Broncos cornerback, made an impromptu phone call to the Rangeview sports journalism class this past week. The phone call was a special treat for the writers in the class, as they had been closely following Tidwell’s progress from a Rangeview graduate to football stardom, playing in primetime during the 2016 preseason and now looking to sign-on with an NFL practice squad.

While Tidwell’s name is not known by most Bronco fans, it’s revered throughout the halls of Rangeview. His former high school football coach Dave Gonzales stated about Tidwell:

“John is one of the best players I’ve come across in my 32 years of coaching HS football. If I had to name my top 10, he would be on the list!”

john tidwell
Tidwell rushes towards the end zone. Tidwell graduated from Rangeview High School in 2011.

As former first team All-State selection after his senior season at Rangeview in 2010 and 1st team All-NSIC selection during his time at in college at Sioux Falls, Tidwell was able to impress multiple pro teams after an excellent showing at a workout earlier in the year. He ultimately decided to sign with the Broncos — his favorite team — and had a great pre-season, making it to the last cut and highlighted by a touchdown-saving tackle at the goal line against the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday.

Going into last Saturday’s final roster cuts, Tidwell remained unfazed.

“I don’t let things like that get to me,” he said the day before being cut, “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play and want to go out there and have fun every day.”

Unfortunately, the Broncos did not have enough room for him among the plethora of cornerbacks on their roster — many say the best roster in the NFL at that position. This will surely be just a minor setback for Tidwell, as he is, in the opinion of many, the epitome of hard work and preparation; if he doesn’t sign on with an NFL team, Tidwell has an accounting job at a major firm waiting for him in Minneapolis.

The University of Sioux Falls graduate has many virtually unlimited options, and whether he’ll be spending his time on the Broncos’ practice squad, another team, continuing his volunteer work, or pursuing accounting, he will undoubtedly be enjoying it, he told the class.