Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart visited the George Washington football team Tuesday.
Stewart — a South Carolina alum — played against the Patriots' first-year defensive coordinator, Rico McCoy, in college. McCoy played college football at Tennessee.
McCoy's connection allowed the team to have a valuable experience ahead of the upcoming season. Cornerback Essam Bryant and quarterback Jaydon Green both figure to be leaders for the Patriots and were able to sit down and talk with Stewart.
"I talked to him pretty much about the task of getting there," Bryant said as he talked about playing a similar position to Stewart. "He told me to keep working hard and to believe in myself. No matter what college I go to, keep my head on straight."
Bryant and Green both put making the playoffs as this season's number one goal.
"It boosted confidence for our team," Bryant said. "People are buying in so we can have that successful team that we've been wanting to have for the last few years that I've been at George Washington. (Stewart) told us the road to get there."
The two players talked about the individual motivation and inspiration gained from the experience.
"It's good knowing that there are actually people in the NFL that started from where I'm starting from," Bryant said. "It inspired me for the season and for life."
"To see where he came from and how hard he's worked to get where he's at, that was motivational," Green said.
In two seasons with the Broncos, Stewart has 131 tackles and four interceptions.