The NFL Combine is just around the corner. That means players across the country are training hard to impress scouts in Indiana, before the draft.
Right now, more than 35pro prospects are training locally at ex-os in Gulf Breeze.
South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, the potential number one overall pick, and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray headline the group.
Mobile’s Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois has stopped by as well.
All those fellows were camera shy this afternoon, but FOX10 Sports caught up to many who weren’t, including a man who has probably worn out his welcome with you tide and tiger fans.
“Everybody doesn’t get the chance to show the world great things, and show NFL scouts great things, and I’m blessed to have the opportunity,” said Khyri Thornton, defensive tackle from Southern Miss.
Panama City’s Thornton works at the EXOS facility in Gulf Breeze, formally known as Athlete’s Performance at the Andrew’s Institute.
He’s working, but having fun close to home to put himself in the best position to fulfill a childhood dream.
“It’s been a blessing; it’s fun. I’ve met a couple guys that I feel like I can call my brother for the rest of my life. It’s just been a fun experience, something new, something out-going, something that keeps you on your toes every day, something exciting.”
What could be more exciting than not even knowing what position you’ll play at the next level?
That’s where former Georgia State quarterback Jerick McKinnon finds himself. He says NFL scouts want to work him out at running back, maybe defensive back.
He just wants to play on Sundays.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to find a home somewhere, if it’s on offense or the defensive side of the ball, it really doesn’t matter. But it would be great just to have the opportunity,” said Jerick McKinnon, Georgia St. quarterback.
LSU’s Jarvis Landry is widely considered one of the best receivers in this year’s draft.
The former Bayou Bengal spent the afternoon showing off the hands and tight-roping the sidelines.
“[I'm] just sharpening that ax, just trying to polish as many things up as possible. For me, it’s just combine focus right now. I’m just trying to get really good at running the [40-yard dash], the L drill, things that the scouts are going to be looking for as far as Combine-related,” said Landry.
The NFL Combine may still be nine days away, but these players said with all the work that remains to be done, it’s quickly approaching.
These men are hoping to hear their names called high in the NFL Draft come May.
So the work they do for the next week and a half could decide if those dreams can be reality.