Former Bills tight end Dorin Dickerson is trying to make it big in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Dickerson, who spent the 2012 season in Buffalo, has been taking part in a tryout this week at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. It is too soon to know whether the company plans to sign him.
Dickerson has been a longtime WWE fan since he was kid, but had not considered a post-football future in the ring until he got a call from Jim Ross, the WWE announcer and talent executive.
"I got a call from Jim Ross out of nowhere," Dickerson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He was like, 'We love your background. We know you've been doing radio. Would you like a tryout?'
"I figured I had nothing to lose. I didn't even take a minute to think. I was like, 'Absolutely, I'll be there. Even if I'm out of shape' " …
"The more I think about it, I'm like, maybe this is something I should have been doing the whole time."
Dickerson, a high school football star in the Pittsburgh area and an All-American at Pitt, had returned to his hometown after the NFL. He hosts a weekend sports talk show as well.
A seventh-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2010, he also spent time with the Steelers, Patriots, Lions and Titans before retiring three years ago. He caught nine passes for 117 yards in 12 games with the Bills. He dressed for 24 career games.
Dickerson, 30, has been training and is down to 245 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame. But along with the physical attributes, making it in the WWE means developing a relatable character.
Dickerson has created the character Rico Dash for his ring persona. A key part of the tryout is the 90-second promo to help evaluators quickly capture the character.
"I want to tell the story about the NFL and my football career, but that guy is Dorin Dickerson," Dickerson said. "He's gone. That guy was a football player. This Rico Dash is a whole 'nother character that nobody has ever seen.
"I want to be a good guy and a bad guy. I want to have an alter ego — good one day, bad the next. Rico's the good guy. Dash is the crazy type, where you don't know what's going to happen."