Bryan Randall Rookie Diary #4: Pro Day Number One

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Here’s Bryan Randall’s report from Pro Day #1 on the VT
campus last Thursday, March 17th, when NFL scouts and coaches arrived at VT to
work out the VT seniors.

The night before is nerve racking, not knowing
exactly what you’re going to be doing, making sure you put the right things in
your body. I ate salads and drank a whole lot of water, trying to get
hydrated. I really couldn’t sleep, just tossed and turned pretty much all
night.

It’s not even about being nervous, I don’t
know what it is. I couldn’t even sleep before games. I guess it’s about me
knowing something’s coming up, I guess it’s more about being excited or
anxious than nervous. I woke up in the middle of the night about every hour.
Then I got up the next morning around 9:00, ate some fruit, things like that,
just getting ready to go.

I arrived over there around 10:00, like other
guys, just got in there and relaxed, just trying to get your mind right. We had
Mikal Baaqee, Mike Daniels, Eric Green, Vinnie Fuller, Vinnie Burns, Jon Dunn,
Jim Davis, James Griffin, and C.W. Clemmons from Hampden-Sydney – he’s a
running back.

I think there were around 15 or 20 teams
represented there. The Packers, Patriots, Falcons, and Dolphins were there.
There were some more guys … some of the coaches I didn’t even get a chance
to see where they were from. Usually they have some sort of a pullover with a
team logo on it, but not necessarily. Some of them I didn’t catch.

There were more teams there last year than this
year, to see KJ and DeAngelo, and there were a couple head coaches there last
year, too. There weren’t really any quarterback coaches there this time, and
there were a lot of DB coaches for Eric Green, Vinnie Fuller, Mike Daniels and
James Griffin.

On that I day probably lost about three pounds,
or within two days. We weighed in at Merryman Center. We weighed in, and I
weighed in at 223. Height was 6.003, which I guess is a tiny bit higher than
what I was at the Combine, which was 6.002. My arm length was shorter by about
an inch. I had weighed 225 at the Combine.

The first thing you do is go in there and all the
players get ready to do the bench, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it at the
Combine either, because it’s not required for quarterbacks to do it. I didn’t
want to put too much pressure on my arm, so I didn’t do the bench press, I
didn’t do the vertical. I did the broad jump and actually got another inch. I
got 9’6” and I got 9’5” at the Combine.

I watched the bench press; actually I spotted for
the majority of the guys. I want to say the highest was 25 (25 reps of 225
pounds), and that was by Kevin Lewis. The majority of the guys were around 20,
and some of the DBs were around 12 or 13. But the majority of the guys were
around 20 reps.

After that we went down to the field house. I
chose to run the 40 because I thought I could improve my time from what I did at
the Combine. I knew running on turf though, it’s always tougher. Your fastest
time is going to be, of course, on the track if you’ve got an opportunity to
do that. From what I know, I ran in the 4.6 range again. I’m hoping in the
lower 4.6 range. Everybody has a stopwatch and you don’t really know what your
time is.





A lot of people run on different surfaces, and
all that goes into account. Supposedly they add a tenth onto your time if you
run on a track because it’s supposed to be a faster surface. [When running 40s
for Coach Gentry], we run on the track. So those times are going to be faster
than those guys who run on the turf, so that’s all taken into consideration.

All the scouts pretty much have stopwatches, and
they’re down there at the finish line with a stopwatch in their hands. Pretty
much every individual scout has one so they can compare times, and I guess
average them at the end. Here it’s hand held times, compared to the Combine
where they’ve got electronic times, but you’ve also got scouts doing hand
held times [at the Combine]. We run two times at Pro Day.

You start on your own. You go to the line and you
pause for a second and then go. If they feel you didn’t pause for a second, or
if you leaned into it, then they’ll stop you, but other than that you just
line up on your own, get in your stance, and when they see you are ready to run
you just pause and then take off. When your right hand comes off the ground is
when the clock starts.

After we did the 40 we started doing the NFL
shuttle drills and the three-cone drill. The NFL shuttle is basically lateral
movement, side to side. You go five yards to your right, touch the line. Then 10
yards to your left, 5 yards past the original starting point, and touch the
line. You go 5, then 10, then 5. 20 yards total. I just went ahead and took my
Combine time for that. I didn’t do any of those types of drills, I just took
my Combine time. I was pretty satisfied with all the field drills, everything
but the 40. So the shuttle was the one thing I did on the field, and while the
other guys were doing stuff I was just throwing the ball a little bit.

After they did the DB drills and after the
defensive linemen with Jim Davis, a guy from the Texans asked me if I would
throw. I was like “I planned on it.” So they got me some throws in. It was
actually a guy from the Patriots that ran me through some drills. I guess some
of the scouts stayed and watched it.

It was similar to the Combine. I had Richard
Johnson, Jared Mazzetta and C.W. Clemmons running routes from the backfield. So
slants, hitch, outs, comebacks, digs, close corner and fly patterns. The ceiling
in the field house is kind of low, so on the fly you can only put so much air
under it. I only threw one fly in the field house, so it’s not a big deal. As
far as everything else goes, there’s no wind in there, so it’s really great
for throwing the ball.

I feel I did real well as far as throwing the
ball. Right now I’m throwing the ball with a lot of zip, I’m real accurate
throwing the ball, and my feet are quick in my setup. I really think that the
more that people see me throw, the more they are going to be impressed by my
throwing ability. I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to work out that it’s
only helping me. Coach Rogers was there. I talked to him before and afterwards,
and he told me I did a good job.

Scouts really don’t say much. Like I said, I
don’t think there were any quarterback coaches there. I feel like when the
quarterback coaches get here, then we’ll see. The guy that worked me out from
the Patriots, maybe he does something with the wide receivers, I don’t know.
But he knew his drills and knew what was going on.

I felt like it was a good day. I would have liked
to have had more coaches out there as far as quarterback coaches seeing me, but
I feel that on the drills that I did, I improved. Overall I feel good about what’s
going on.

Pro Day next week is on a Wednesday. Pretty much
it’s going to be the same thing, right down to the drills, the bench and
everything. So I’m not doing anything but throwing. I’m not going to run, I’m
just going to throw. I don’t know for a fact, but I’m pretty sure there will
be at least one quarterbacks coach there. There’s not necessarily going to be
someone from your position there to work you out some of the times, but that’s
the thing about having two weeks, if for whatever reason they don’t come this
week, they can come out next week. Hopefully we’ll have some people come out
next week and put me through some drills. I really don’t have any
expectations. I mean, all it takes is for one team to like you.

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