Former Denver Bronco John Diarse was excited not only to get the call to play football, but a chance with a new start in a state that holds its teams to a high standard.

“[I’m just excited] about the opportunity to play football again,”Diarse said. “The whole Boston area is known for success when it comes to sports. As a sports fan, you always want to be surrounded by other success so that you can elevate yourself and I think it’s definitely a great opportunity for me to do that.”

What sold Massachusetts to Diarse, was that he was wanted in Worcester.

“The fact that I’m from the south but the way that I was welcomed by Jawad [Yatim], his staff, Mardy [Gilyard] and some of the other players just made me feel at home,” Diarse said. “They understood my story and understood what I’m trying to get done. They embraced me with open arms man and just told me, ‘Hey come be a Pirate and we’ll get it done.'”

Diarse went undrafted in 2018 and was signed by the Broncos joining Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders who gave him the best on and off-field advice.

“It’s a lot of things off the field that are required that don’t get talked about on ESPN and the sides that people won’t give you,” Diarse said. “Learning from guys like Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, it’s almost instinctive for you to take those lessons and put them in effect immediately.”

Diarse sees Thomas as a huge reason for his accelerated maturity both on and off the gridiron.

“He was a big influence on me [in Denver], he understood what it takes to be a big-bodied receiver and having to prove to coaches, scouts, and everybody that you’re just as explosive as everybody else,” Diarse said. “We talked daily and he kind of guided me through the process and I’ll still talk to him to this day and I’m very thankful for him but also that whole organization.”

Diarse an arena rookie, has never had to contend with the infamous wall that surrounds the shorter field. His solution to dealing with it was simple.

“Stay away from the wall and catch anything in sight,” Diarse said with a laugh. “At the end of the day, even with different rules and different players, it’s still the game of football to me. I understand that in order to further myself and where I’m trying to get to later on in my career, I can’t let anything touch the ground and I have to do whatever I have to do to help my team win.”

When it comes to helping his team win, Diarse wants to help in any way and role that he can.

“Whether it’s holding the field goal, catching the kickoff return, pass, catch it, run it, do what I need to do to help my team win, that’s my job that I have to do,” Diarse said. “It’s a requirement [to be versatile]. It’s been a requirement everywhere I’ve been whether it be returning kicks, covering kicks, anything.”

In preparation for the new format, Diarse consulted Gilyard on what to expect. The First-Team All-NAL receiver gave a simple answer to the TCU alum.

“It’s fast,” Diarse said with a laugh. “It’s really really fast and I appreciate him letting me know. Not that I’m not experienced in that, the Big-12 is a very fast game but him making sure I understand that the ball is going to be on your head very quickly as far as running your routes and locating the football is vitally important. If you want to catch touchdowns, you’re going to have to learn the speed of the game and that was something I definitely took to heart.”

Off the field, Diarse is a vegan and loves being out in nature. Indoors however, he claims to be an expert in Madden.

“I’ve become a Madden fiend honestly,” Diarse said with a laugh. “I’ve been heavy on that so video games are obviously fun. But you can kind of find me doing anything.”