The stress of the NFL Draft turned into joy for Alvin Bowen and Ahtyba Rubin on Sunday.
Phone calls from Buffalo and Cleveland ended the waiting of the NFL selection process for the two former ISU football players.
Bowen was selected in the middle of the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills, while the Cleveland Browns picked up Rubin midway though the sixth.
Bowen, a 6-foot-1, 223-pound linebacker, struggled to keep his composure when the Bills called and he found out he would be drafted to the NFL.
"I was trying not to just like … turn into a little kid," said Bowen from New Jersey in a phone interview. "So I was real serious. I was really excited, but I had to stay patient and calm on the phone, because I had my mom and everybody else in the background getting excited … the next thing you know, I saw my face pop up on the NFL Network, and they showed some of my highlights. My mom and my sister and my girlfriend just went ballistic."
Bowen was selected 147th overall, while Rubin had to wait until the 190th overall pick.
Rubin, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle, was seen by NFL experts as a potential early-round pick, but was drafted later than he imagined.
"I expected the third or fourth round," Rubin said. "It was like the fourth or fifth round, and I started getting like 'Am I going to get picked at all?' I had high expectations for myself, so when the third or fourth round passed I was like, 'Man, I wish someone would call me and tell me something.'"
Instead, each phone call proved to be a false alarm.
"I jumped to my phone because I thought it was from a team … every time I saw a team that needs a D-tackle, I ended up getting a call from a friend or family," Rubin said.
Rubin was with friends in Ames when the Browns picked him.
"I'm ecstatic," he said. "I am blessed, man, and I am so happy just to get this opportunity to show that I deserve to be in this league."
Bowen said he didn't know what to expect when the draft started. Teams that showed interest in Bowen through the scouting process didn't contact him in the final days before the draft.
"Coming into Saturday, I didn't know when I was going to get drafted," he said. "I assumed probably late third, fourth round … Basically I just waited, patiently waited and then I got that call. And then I got excited, and I enjoyed every minute of that conversation."
Bowen spoke with DeMontie Cross, the assistant linebackers/special teams coach for the Bills. Cross, an ISU outside linebackers coach from 2001-05, told Bowen to not worry about what comes next.
Bowen and Rubin will fly out to meet their teams in the next week. Both were looking forward to proving themselves at the next level.
"I'm excited now that I know I'm in the NFL," Bowen said. "I'm excited now that I got drafted. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but that's what I built my whole character on is hard work and getting the job done.
"Being a Buffalo Bill is something I'm happy to say I am. I'm pumped - I'm kind of close to home. My mom can come to games. It's just a pleasure to say I'm a part of the NFL right now."