Kasson’s Jeff Stevenson announces NFL draft pick
When Jeff Stevenson was playing Division III football at St. Olaf College in Northfield, in the late 70s, he could only dream of hearing his name at the NFL Draft. Little did the Kasson insurance agent know that his dream would eventually be realized.
Stevenson wasn’t selected to suit up for his beloved Vikings (or any other team), but he was invited by Nationwide Insurance to take the stage at the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City where he officially announced a fifth-round pick for the Cleveland Browns in front of tens of thousands of football fans.
On Saturday of Draft Weekend, Stevenson was escorted to a tightly-secured backstage area where he anxiously awaited details of the selection he was about to announce. Immediately after a league official handed him a card on which the draftee’s name was handwritten moments earlier, he was escorted to the stage.
When the moment arrived, Stevenson walked out to the podium and confidently announced, “With the 142nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Cameron Mitchell — D-back, Northwestern.”
(Watch Jeff announce the selection. Courtesy: ClevelandBrowns.com)
Stevenson, who founded Stevenson Insurance, Inc. in 1981, was invited to attend NFL Draft weekend as a guest of Nationwide, an official insurance sponsor of the National Football League.
“As a longtime partner of the NFL, Nationwide is provided many unique opportunities which we’re able to offer to agents and agencies that we work with as a way to thank them for their partnership,” said Jim McCoy, associate vice president of Nationwide’s sports marketing. “We hope Jeff enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in an NFL Draft.”
When asked to reflect on the experience, Stevenson said, “It was awesome. I’ve been a football fan ever since I can remember. When you’re a little boy, you think of playing in the NFL. Nationwide and the NFL made me feel like a first-round pick.”