George Atkinson III will attempt to break into the Oakland roster as a special teams standout after going undrafted. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
George Atkinson Jr. spent 10 seasons with the Oakland Raiders, winning a Super Bowl and making two Pro Bowls, and now his son is attempting to follow in his footsteps.
The younger Atkinson went undrafted despite a solid collegiate career at Notre Dame but was quickly snapped up by the Raiders, who signed him to a free agent contract soon after.
Now George Atkinson III is doing what he can to make the Raiders' roster, using elite special teams skills taught to him by his father as the basis to get his foot in the door, according to CSN Bay Area.
MORE: 2015 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 draft grades: How your team did | Offseason awards
Despite that, the elder Atkinson, who works as a member of the Oakland Raiders broadcast team, refused to watch his son's first workout, suggesting that he didn't want to take the spotlight off him.
“He told me yesterday, ‘I’m not going to come out. I know you’re expecting me to come, but this is your moment and you need to be a man about it as an individual and I’m not going to be here to pressure you or anything like that.’” Atkinson III said. “He’ll have a chance to come out and see me practice.”
George Atkinson, who currently owns the Raiders franchise record for most punt return yards in a game, also ranks fifth in franchise history with 30 interceptions.
The Raiders say they didn't bring the younger Atkinson in as a favor, as the front office believes he has a real opportunity to make the 53-man roster as a return man/running back. Atkinson rushed for 555 yards and three touchdowns for Notre Dame in 2013.