FAIRFIELD — Getting paid to play football is every player’s dream, no matter how much it is.
Vanden High graduate and current St. Cloud State student Damon Treat became one of those players recently, signing a contract to play for the Green Bay Blizzard of the Professional Indoor Football League.
Treat will wrap up one final semester at St. Cloud State and then finish his degree in Recreation and Sports Management with online courses after reporting to the Blizzard in late January or early February.
“It’s another step in the journey to keep playing football,” Treat said. “I sent coach (Tommie) Williams some copy of film on the Fourth of July. He responded the same day and it took off from there.
“I sent film pretty much to the whole (league). I talked to San Jose SaberCats, Cleveland Gladiators and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (of the Canadian Football League). Nothing came of it. Green Bay was the only one to offer a contract.”
Treat, who can play running back, wide receiver and return both punts and kickoffs, said his time at St. Cloud State, and a little help from his father Will, prepared him for the next level.
“It was a combination of all four years at St. Cloud,” he said, “My dad at Off The Hook Recruiting made the film of me playing all four positions.
“It was great (at St. Cloud). We had a great coaching staff that taught me a lot. The atmosphere prepared me for Green Bay.”
The PIFL doesn’t have the glory or the high pay of playing in the NFL or even the Arena Football League, but that doesn’t matter to the 5-foot-7, 168-pound Treat. He’s just happy he gets to keep playing.
“It’s around $250 a game and a $50 (per) win bonus,” Treat said. “They pay for housing and food, and performance bonuses.”
The one thing Treat will have to get used to is playing on a 50-yard indoor field instead of outdoors on a 100-yard gridiron.
“It’s gonna be a big change of direction game with a shorter filed,” Treat said. “There’s no out-of-bounds with the walls they have . . . (Returning kicks off the screen) will probably will be a scary thing, but something I’ll get used to over the season.”
The numbers Treat put up at St. Cloud probably had something to do with Green Bay becoming interested in him. In 2013, he caught 48 passes for 666 yards – twice surpassing 100 yards in a game – with four touchdowns, returned 33 kickoffs for 726 yards and made 21 punt returns for another 184 yards.
The Blizzard struggled to a 2-12 record last season, but Treat thinks he might be able to help turn things around.
“I’ll just try to contribute as much as I can,” he said. “If they can get me the ball, it will be beneficial. I haven’t seen other people coming in, but I don’t like to lose. It’s the competitive nature in me.”
Competitive enough to earn a paycheck.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.