Friday, February 22, 2013
Greg Reid's draft diary: Part 1
By David M. Hale
It's been a turbulent year for former Florida State cornerback Greg Reid, who passed on a shot to enter the NFL draft early last January only to see his Seminoles career come to an end due to off-field issues and his 2012 season evaporate following a knee injury.
For the past six months, however, Reid has been rehabbing his knee and his reputation with his sights set on rejuvenating his NFL prospects. Throughout the next few weeks, he'll be detailing his road to the NFL draft here. Reid's first installment chronicles his workouts at Athlete's Edge near Miami, where he's been preparing for this weekend's scouting combine, where he'll join 10 other former Seminoles and a host of top NFL prospects.
Getting the combine invite was unreal. I mean, I’d been working harder than ever before. But when I got that email, I knew I had to seize the moment.
Life has taught me one thing. Nothing is guaranteed. Everything is earned. That’s been my whole philosophy through this training process.
I’m from Valdosta, Georgia. ESPN TitleTown, USA. I never thought I’d be waking up every day by the beach in Miami. That’s how I know this whole combine thing is real. That, and I don’t even mess with the snooze button anymore.
I’m eating breakfast by 7:30.
8:15, I start loosening up. Ice, tape, pre-workout therapy.
By 10:45 I’m running field drills in Plantation with my trainer, Mike [Smith].
The most amazing training experience I’ve had so far was when I had the opportunity to work with Asante Samuel. That’s when it really hit me, when I was learning from one of my favorite corners of all time, on the same level. I got to learn from a veteran cornerback, but at the same time, I was like, I might be playing against this guy in a few months. Can’t be giving him my secrets! For real though, Asante was the man, and I really learned a lot from working with him.
I used to never want to answer phone calls from random numbers. Now, I hope each one is another team. You don’t want to get too caught up in any projections though. I try to just put my head down and ignore all the rumors and stuff. It won’t matter until draft day anyway.
Even though each day has been an adventure, I still miss my family and friends back in Valdosta and Tally. It was really cool when some of my former FSU teammates came to Miami to support me. Knowing they still have my back, just like I still have theirs, makes me know I’m in the right place.
This week I found out about that new aptitude test. I think it’s cool I'll be part of the first combine class to take it. I'm looking forward to seeing what the test reveals about my character and learning styles. The results might even be useful in helping me adapt to the NFL. I've been training really hard for every combine test. Well, I still don't know how to measure taller, but I don't bother trying. I love overcoming big obstacles.
When I get to the combine, I know people will be surprised at how well my knee has healed up, but I wouldn’t have expected anything else. After Dr. [Kevin J.] Collins’ surgery, I spent all my time strengthening my knee. To be honest, I really didn’t have much else to do but rehab my knee. That gave me time to really understand how important this game is to me. With that motivation, and help from the National Champion Valdosta State Blazers’ trainers, I rehabbed my knee to full strength. It might be even stronger than before. No wonder I’ve been so happy with my results. Hard work pays off. Bottom line.
I take off for Indianapolis on Saturday. I saw pictures of the new stadium and hotel. I can’t believe our hotel is attached to the stadium. As cool as that is, I’ll probably forget all about it the second I get to Indy. I can’t wait to see so many of my former Seminoles teammates. I’ve always said we’re the best. With the most prospects at the combine, I’m proud to say I was right!
I know the combine is the next step to achieving my dream of playing football in the NFL and I’ve never been more excited for anything. I also know the scouts will all be watching and there’s a lot riding on these next few days, but I’ve always performed best when the pressure’s highest. I’m ready! Lehgo!