By Matt Hammond, SportsRadio 610By Matt Hammond

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Tom Savage didn’t know if he’d ever get the chance to be a starting NFL quarterback.

But he always believed he could do it.

Heading into his first regular season opener as the Houston Texans No. 1, Savage said he’s happy to finally have the opportunity.

“I’m real confident,” Savage said. “I’m super excited to get out there on Sunday, and I can’t wait to get going.”

It’s been a long road for Savage.

Hurt his junior season in high school. Had to settle for Rutgers.

Hurt his first season at Rutgers. Lost his starting job.

Decided to transfer to Arizona. But when Mike Stoops was fired, and Rich Rodriguez was hired, made the decision to transfer again.

Tried to go to Rutgers, but wasn’t granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA that would’ve allowed him to play the following season.

So, he settled for Pittsburgh, and another year away from football.

Solid showing in 2013. Fourth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Three seasons, three injuries and the NFL’s first-ever salary dump later, and Savage is on the doorstep of his dream.

“I’ve always had the confidence that I could do it,” Savage said. “Obviously there’s a lot of things that are out of your control. My college career, a lot of that was self-inflicted, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons at a really young age. That ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ mentality.”

It’s a good draw for Savage, personally, getting to play the Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season. Savage excelled against them a year ago, completing 23 of 36 passes for 260 yards and 7.22 yards per attempt in December after Brock Osweiler was benched.

Now, he’s just looking to make the most of his opportunity.

“This is a privilege to be on this team, it’s not a right,” Savage said. “You’re not entitled to anything in this league, and you’ve got to go out there and earn it and show it every day. That’s the kind of values I learned in college, and I’m going to take with my until the end of my career.”

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