Bryan Randall Rookie Diary #6: “Patiently Waiting”

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I’m still patiently waiting. Over the last week I’ve
signed a contract with Reebok, which doesn’t go into effect unless I make a
53-man roster. It’s an all-apparel deal, with some incentives if I were to
start some games. Basically, it’s just wearing Reebok clothing. A lot of times
you’re either going to wear Nike or you’re going to wear Reebok, so it’s
giving them the license to use my name, and for me if I make a public appearance
for whatever, usually I’m going to have to wear Reebok stuff.

They’re going to supply me with things to wear. Being a
quarterback, a lot of times being on the sideline, you’ve got the hats on and
things like that. So the majority of stuff I wear now will be Reebok.

The NFL is sponsored by Reebok. The NFL has a contract
with Reebok, so all the uniforms and jerseys are Reebok now. So there’s no
conflict with the NFL. When you go with Nike, there’s kind of a little
conflict there because Reebok sponsors the league. So there’s some perks that
go with Reebok as opposed to going with Nike, and Reebok offered me the best
deal.

I looked at both Reebok and Nike. Those are the big dogs
when it comes to endorsements. I went to Reebok to see what they were offering,
I went to Nike to see what they were offering, compared them, and I thought
Reebok was the best deal for me. The deal was made through my agent. Even if I
don’t get drafted, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to get some
apparel from Reebok, but the bigger things will come if I make the 53 man
roster.

It’s funny because I didn’t really think that you
would actually sign a contract, especially if you weren’t a big name. I really
didn’t think the endorsements would come, especially if you weren’t a first
or second round pick. I figured it was kind of a toss up, signing a guy like
myself when nothing is really guaranteed.

I haven’t taken any trips, and I haven’t talked with any
teams. I’m actually waiting to hear back from some teams. A couple of teams, I’m
not sure who, are trying to decide what guys to bring in for visits. So right
now I’m just sitting and waiting. Waiting patiently. Just kind of taking it
day by day. But I really haven’t heard much feedback from any specific teams
thus far.




It’s tough waiting, because I kind of wanted to have
more workouts or to be brought in by teams for workouts. Just some individual
workouts, other than the Pro Days, with some coaches. Just something that would
be reassuring to me.

I guess I’m nervous. It’s really hard to explain. It’s
kind of like I’m just sitting out and I don’t know what to do. I don’t
know what’s going on. I’m not exactly sure what some teams are thinking, and
you never really know until draft day. As each day goes on and people come up
and ask me, I’m just like “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to
happen.” I really don’t.

As far as the workouts are concerned, I feel that I
maximized my performance and effort to try and make the most of the opportunity.
I feel like I did what I had to do, and now it’s in somebody else’s hands.
That’s the way you don’t like it to be, but that’s just the way it is.

It’s something I can pray about, and it’s all in God’s
hands. But at the same time, I’m still human and I’m not going to say it
doesn’t bother me, because it does. But at the same time, I do know that
whatever God’s plan is for me, that’s what it’s going to be. He’s taken
care of me so far in everything I’ve done as far as sports goes, so I don’t
expect anything different.

I’m not going to be able to go to the spring game,
though. I had a prior engagement that I scheduled a while ago not even thinking
about the spring game, so I’ll be going home that weekend of the spring game.

I had a signing session at the New River Valley Mall on
April 2nd. It was right in the center of the mall, right in the middle as soon
as you walked in. It was in the daytime, probably around noon. It was a good
turnout. A lot of people came out to get stuff signed. A lot of people who didn’t
even know about it, that were just in the mall that day, stopped by to get
things signed.

Basically they had a bunch of memorabilia set up. There
were some other booths out there too, some other booths with different stuff set
up with stuff signed by different people from the pros and college. I was the
only one there that was actually signing. I was signing pictures of myself for
people.

On His Celebrity Status

It’s been fun. I feel like that’s something that comes
with the territory. I mean if you’re a quarterback, you know you’re going to
be in the limelight. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad, but either
way you’re going to draw attention from people whenever you go out. I feel
like throughout my career it’s been pretty positive. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s
not too bad.

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People sometimes exaggerate when they’re trying to paint
a mental picture of how it would be to be a so-called superstar on a big-time
football or basketball team. In different places you get different attention
than others, but one thing you always get is the looks. People always give you
the looks, but whether or not they come up to you is a different story. If you’re
out walking and you walk in somewhere, it will turn a lot of heads. But I think
it’s a blessing for me. A lot of people would kill to be in that situation, to
get all the attention like that. I feel it’s been positive, and you’ve got
to influence people in a positive way while getting that attention.

It comes with the territory. I guess it’s weird to me
because people are coming up to me and saying “Oh Bryan, can I have your
autograph?”, “You’re my favorite player”, and “We love you” and all
that stuff. It feels kind of funny, but you can’t really tell somebody how
they feel. It’s kind of like me looking up to someone like Michael Jordan or
Donovan McNabb. Those are people I look up to and there are people out there
that look at me in the same way, so I can’t really look at them and say “calm
down” or like they’re crazy or anything.

I haven’t had really any bad experiences. The only time
I feel bad is when there are a lot of people who want autographs and you’ve
got to tell some “no.” Or maybe I’m at an autograph signing and there will
be some people who come up that don’t realize that you have to pay for the
autograph, and it may be kids. I remember one time there were a couple of kids
that came up and the guy had to tell them. If it were me, I’d sign them, it’s
no big deal. But it’s times like that when you’ve got to tell some people no
sometimes.

Thoughts on the 2005 Hokies

Overall, the team looks good to me. I feel like guys that
should be stepping up are stepping up. It looks like the receiving corps is
growing up and one year older now. They’re not the same young guys. And they’ve
got plenty of depth there.

Of course in the secondary we’ve got some holes to fill,
but I think these young guys got enough experience last year and I think they’re
going to be good. I really don’t see any real weaknesses on the team that are
really weak or weaker than the other positions. They seem to be a pretty well
rounded team.

On Marcus Vick as a Leader

I think he’s taking small steps now as far as trying to
get there, but until that first game… You know, I feel like the biggest thing
is going to be consistency. Everybody knows that there’s going to be times in
the game where the quarterback can make or break the game. Me and Coach Rogers
used to talk about it. A quarterback can’t win a game by himself, but he sure
can lose a game by himself. That being said, it’s going to be a matter of
playing smart for him. Everybody knows he has the ability. He has the arm, he
has the legs. I think it’s going to be a matter of being consistent and being
smart with the football and just giving us a chance to win.

To be a leader, for people to want to follow you, you have
to do something on the field. It’s plain and simple. You can do everything you
want to do off the field, but when it comes down to it, if you aren’t helping
your team win games and doing things on that field to change games, people aren’t
going to follow you. You have to be a difference maker.

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