Flower Branch, GA — If you were clearing junk from your yard in the Greater Atlanta area last winter, chances are an NFL player got rid of it.
At the time, Caleb Huntley was looking for ways to keep making money. A member of the Atlanta Falcons practice team last year, he didn’t know what his long-term future would hold in a league that was often built around leagues. short-term career.
And while practice team money isn’t bad ($207,000 a season minimum), NFL salaries aren’t paid in the offseason, and who knows when a career might end. As a girlfriend and parent of his two young children, he was looking for a financial solution.
The 24-year-old Atlanta native didn’t know he’d be called up to the Falcons twice this season, and ended up on the active roster after posting 10 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Then he was trying to take care of his family.
“I knew the checks would stop coming in, but the money was still out of my account,” said Huntley. “So I had to figure out what to do to keep everything in balance.”
With that in mind, Huntley started “Huntley’s Junkyard Junkie.” The junk removal service launched last January and offers everything from appliance removal to yard cleanup. He was a CEO and a junk removal employee.
He created an Instagram account that currently has 133 followers and used social networking apps to grow his business.
In about six weeks he landed eight jobs. He cleared a huge yard in McDonough, Georgia, Atlanta, Freddie of the Braves, He wore Freeman’s T, his shirt, his jersey. rice field.
“It’s not just a way to make money, it’s also a way to stay in shape,” says Huntley. “It’s labor, so I was doing it and getting good exercise.”
However, business stopped rather quickly. According to Huntley, members of the Falcons organization, who are no longer with the team, said they were not allowed to perform junk removal because it could cause injury. I thought it was a message sent by Arthur Smith, who is the company’s representative, and Terry Fontenot, who is the general manager, so I stopped.
It wasn’t. Huntley said Smith sought him out Wednesday and said he wasn’t. He can continue to do so in the future, but be careful. If he gets hurt, it’s his fault.
Huntley elaborated on the story, saying he thought about the money he lost, but also said he might not be so aggressive about dismissing him if he reopened his business.
After Sunday, there is another larger income stream to watch.
Tammy Ramons is I’m on one knee in front of the TV in the family room, trying not to block the screen. Her husband Lindsay was sitting on the couch, as were her two daughters. She didn’t want to get in the way.
However, her son was on TV and playing for the Falcons where they grew up. After Huntley’s first two carries, she FaceTimed her to his brother, Marcus, who worked as a truck driver. They’ve been there for Huntley all the way from Locust Grove to Ball State to the Falcons practice squad and now actual tangible playing time.
A year ago, Huntley was watching a Falcons road game from his mother’s house while on the practice team. Now he’s like a screen.
Ramons is an emotional person. When she talks about last week, she almost cries.
Huntley ran the ball 10 times. to Carry No. 8, where Huntley scored a 5-yard touchdown. cried Ramons. Her daughters told her to calm down.
Not a chance.
“I’m jumping up and trying to run with him,” Ramons said. “I tried to contain myself.”
Marcus pleaded with his mother to hold the phone still. Lindsey Lamons was sitting on the couch, excitedly laughing at her wife.
Huntley took the first extended job of his career. It was a good enough performance that his Salahssie Donatto, one of his close friends who is also his trainer, spoke with him and told him the next day that he planned to sign to the active roster. Huntley brushed him off, saying he could see him on Monday.
The Falcons signed Huntley on Monday, and Lamons said his son wasn’t sure how to react. Donato knew. It was something they had been working on for years.
“I always felt like I deserved to be in this league,” Huntley said. “But we just had the chance to show it off.”
when this offseason Huntley wasn’t running separate ventures like cleaning the lawn, spending time with his family, or running an Airbnb with his girlfriend. he was training. He and his Donatto came up with a plan, knowing that they would have to tackle quickness and explosions.
They did pool work, waterproof training, lifting weights, running back training on grass and sand, and pushing and pulling cars.
Yes, some of Huntley’s work involved automobile movements. This was no junk cleanup. This is anytime, anywhere. Donatto remembers driving around, and Huntley told him to stop when he found a difficult slope. Then Huntley got out and pushed his car.
“It’s always going to be a little side street or something like that,” Donatto said. “It’s a side street with little traffic, so it doesn’t get in the way.”
It’s no surprise that Huntley works this way. He has always looked for the most economical and efficient way of doing things. His heart is bound like this: He’s an idea man in business and everything else.
His Airbnb is a rental apartment in Midtown Atlanta that he uses to make extra money through a limited liability company he founded. When he was a kid, he and Marcus made a sign that offered to inflate a bicycle tire for 1/4 and 50 cents to replace the bicycle tube. They started mowing, and Donatto joined in, and from $20 per lawn he earned $60.
“Caleb always had that,” said Lindsay, a former Marine and long-haul truck driver. “Like he wanted to be his own boss, his own man. It’s kind of like his DNA, honestly.”
At the time, Huntley said he did it to help his family. Now he’s doing it to create a life beyond football for when it’s over. is to build his primary career with the NFL, but he’s still thinking about it. In the off-season, I help Donatto with his car detailing business.
And Huntley has the next big idea. he wants to buy a farm
He has surveyed the land of interest, knows the structure of the down payment, and considers various acreages.
“It’s like an agricultural farm where I grow different goods and things that people need,” said Huntley. “We know food is scarce, so we’re going to do that and grow a product that doesn’t contain any chemicals, extra preservatives, etc.”
Former garbage man. future farmer. He is now back on the active roster for his hometown Falcons. Although he has worked most of his life, football has always been his dream career. what he worked for.
And after Sunday, one with more potential than ever.