Baltimore Ravens defensive end Brent Urban didn’t get the chance to show fans what he was capable of last season.
A native of Mississauga who played high school football with the Lorne Park Spartans, Urban was drafted by the Ravens out of the University of Virginia in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The six-foot-seven, 295-pound defensive tackle was also a former hockey star, playing on the 2006 AAA Mississauga Ice Dogs team that won the Ontario bantam championship and included future NHL draftees Ryan Ellis, Casey Cizikas and Jamie Devane.
Yet on July 30, before his first NFL season even began, Urban tore a ligament in his right knee.
Urban was scheduled to be part of a deep defensive end rotation for the Ravens in his rookie season, but ended up missing the entire season.
“It’s tough,” Urban told Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli after the injury. “This is the first season I’ve actually missed the entire season. I’ve had a lot of injuries in my career, but this is the first time I’ve had to sit back and watch an entire season. It was tough at first, but it’s just a part of the game. Sometimes you get unlucky, you’ve just got to deal with it basically, just suck it up. It was tough, but it was great to see the team winning. It just made me more hungry to want to get back.”
In a recent radio interview Urban told Glenn Clark that he will be back in time for this year’s OTAs, just in time to hopefully step in to a larger role with the team. The Ravens will be counting on younger defensive linemen like Urban to help replace recently departed veteran Haloti Ngata.
“It was definitely tough to see a guy go who, you know, really acted as a mentor to me,” Urban told Clark while discussing Ngata’s trade to the Detroit Lions. “I learned a lot from him even though I wasn’t able to play, so it’s tough to see, but I guess that’s part of the game at this level. While it’s tough to see [Ngata] go, it also gives us an opportunity and I’m really excited for training camp. We’ve got a lot of young guys competing and I’m really excited for that opportunity to show what I’ve got and hopefully see some playing time.”
Clark’s complete interview with Urban can be heard here: http://www.pressboxonline.com/2015/03/13/ravens-brent-urban-excited-for-opportunity-to-compete
“Going into camp, there’s a lot of good, young players,” Urban told Clark. “And it will be exciting to get that competition going, each of us pushing each other to be better. We (the defensive players) feel like we’re here for a reason. We’re in the league for a reason, you know. You’re always hungry as a backup to try to get that opportunity to get playing time, so I think all of us have really just been waiting for that opportunity, and I think it’s really going to help us push to the next level.”