Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Greg Reid draft diary: Part 2
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 seven months, however, Reid has been rehabbing his knee and his reputation with his sights set on rejuvenating his NFL prospects, and he's been detailing his road to the NFL draft here. Reid's first installment chronicled his workouts at Athlete's Edge near Miami, and in his second diary entry, he writes about the experience of the NFL combine and Florida State's pro day workouts.
The last few weeks have been crazy. I’ve gone from Miami to Indianapolis to Miami to Valdosta to Tallahassee, then finally back to Miami. This is the first chance I’ve had to update you all since the combine and pro day.
Former Seminole cornerback and kick returner Greg Reid has been busy auditioning and interviewing for an NFL job.
The combine was a great experience. The best part was definitely meeting the coaches. At first it was a little intimidating. You walk into the room, and you’re like, “Man, that’s Bill Belichick -- in his hoodie and everything.” Then you realize he’s just a regular guy. You’re in a very relaxed environment, and the coaches were almost like friends. But in the back of my mind, I never forgot I was in Indy for business. The interviews were only 15 minutes, so you don’t have that much time to get to know everyone in the room, but I feel like it was enough time for me to make an impression.
Seeing Rex Ryan in person was funny since I’m used to seeing him on TV every day. Mike Shannahan was definitely the funniest coach. When I walked into the room, he asked me if I went to high school at Valdosta or Lowndes, as if he didn’t know Valdosta was my biggest rival school. I said, “Come on Coach, you already know, Lowndes!”
I bet most people don’t even know football players have to go through hours and hours of written tests at the combine. There were six different testing rooms. Each room had the same hour-and-half to two-hour test. The questions all seemed the same, just in a different order.
It was tough not participating in all the drills because I’m so competitive. It took a lot for me to understand it wasn’t worth another possible setback after all I’ve done to rehab my knee.
I got to catch up with friends from college and high school that I hadn’t seen in a while. I also got to meet a lot of new people. When I got back to Miami, I started YouTubing highlights of all the people I met at the combine. It was funny comparing their highlights to my first impressions from Indy.
Before I went to Florida State’s pro day, I stopped at Valdosta State’s to show my appreciation and respect for the program. The doctors and trainers at Valdosta State did so much to help me rehab my knee, and everyone on the team from the players to the coaches showed me nothing but support. I wanted to be there to return the favor on their pro day.
I drove to Tallahassee after the Blazers’ pro day and went to sleep earlier than normal. I was at Doak Campbell Stadium by 7:30 the next morning. I wanted to get there before anyone else. When I got there, the lights hadn’t even come on yet. I was able to be by myself and think about all the memories I had playing on that field. It’s hard for me to describe all the emotions I felt that morning. All I can say is that it was my favorite part of being back in Tallahassee.
Getting there early, I noticed that we were going to have a wet field. I obviously would have preferred better weather, but some things you have no control over. I felt like my first run was pretty good for the field we were on, but after I finished, I noticed my hamstring felt a little tight. After I had prepared so hard for the positional drills, I didn’t want to risk missing an opportunity to showcase my rehabbed knee and decided to skip the second run. My trainers tell me it usually takes some time for the muscles surrounding the knee to learn how to work again after they’ve been out of action for a few months, so I’m not worried about my hamstring affecting me in the future. Overall, I thought I was able to do a good job of reminding everyone that I’m still the same player I was before the injury.
Most of all, it just felt good being back on the field with my old teammates. I consider those guys family. It felt like a big reunion. I also got a chance to talk to some of the younger players about the whole process I’ve been going through. I was glad to have the opportunity to let them know what it’s really like.
A week after pro day I was happy to be back in Doak for a workout with Indianapolis and Cleveland. The weather was perfect, and it felt great being able to run and cut out there like I always did.
I’m back in South Florida now. I’m feeling great and counting down the days until April 25. It’s exciting being this close to my dream coming true. In all honesty, I just can’t wait to get those pads back on.