My first couple years at Nebraska my entire focus was geared towards becoming a starter and making plays in Memorial Stadium. I went out to each practice and game giving my all. As I got towards my last couple years there, I told myself that if I just continued to show improvements and did what the coaches asked of me, then everything I dreamed for come together. I took the game serious because I knew that any day off was a day that somebody else was getting better than me.
When I found out that I was invited to the combine, I knew all the hard work had paid off. I worked so hard to get this point and to see that I made it like a few of my Husker teammates before me was that much more rewarding.
The hardest part leading into the combine was knowing the doubts people had on my game. Coming from a school known more for running the ball I knew that my skills were going to be questioned. I also knew I had to prove that I could run well since I never fully took advantage of the opportunities given to me. Route running, pass catching, and running good times are all important attributes for a receiver and they were all things that I knew I needed to prove more than most. My combine class was filled with names who are still playing well in the league now, but I felt I was able to hold my own in what I did there.
Unfortunately, I felt my hamstring pop while running my second 40 and only had the opportunity to showcase my measurements, 40, bench, and my interviews. I felt like I did a good job of impressing the scouts, coaches, and GMs there, but I wish I could have done more. I knew that now my Pro Day was going to mean that much more and I had to really step it up when it came time.
As highly anticipated as the combine was for me, they definitely do a good job of keeping guys on their toes and uncomfortable. From the early wake ups with tests, the poking and prodding of every body part and injury, to the interviews with every eye and ear waiting on you to slip up and say the wrong thing.
The combine is an equal opportunity for each guy invited to show why they deserved to be there, because not everyone is invited. That being said, being invited to the combine isn’t a promise that you’ll make it to the league. The important thing is taking advantage of every opportunity you’re given leading up to the combine and doing the same when you get there.