It's the day where every pound, every inch, and every tenth of a second matters.
Everyone wants to play in the NFL, but do they have what it takes? For most college football players, they have this one day to prove they are worthy of living out their dream. That one day was Tuesday at Stephen F. Austin's Pro Day.
Once the NFL scouts hit start on the stop watch, it's a fight against each passing second.
All the months of training have lead up to this moment, with NFL scouts watching every jump, leap, rep, and stride.
Most eyes were on running back Gus Johnson
“I love Homer Bryce Stadium. To get to come back and do what I do here, it was a lot easier,” said Johnson.
His day started with stepping on the scale weighing 216 pounds, about the same as his NFL Combine weight.
“The Combine was a lot more intense. I wouldn't say that this wasn't structured, but the structure at the combine is back-to-back,” said Johnson.
The running back caught national attention with his performance at this year's Combine.
He was so pleased with his numbers, finishing 23rd among the 34 running backs invited to Indianapolis, he passed on most of the drills. However, there was one drill he wanted to improve on.
“I felt like the only thing I needed to improve on was my 40. So I came out here and ran that again. I did pretty good with that,” said Johnson.
Johnson improved from the 4.7 seconds he posted at the combine. With two attempts at the 40, Johnson's best dash across the line came in at a hot 4.5 seconds.
The Gilmer native's performance certainly impressed former Lumberjack and current defensive back for the Houston Texans, Josh Aubrey, who made a pit stop at SFA's Pro Day.
“I think a lot of the guys performed well. Gus did good, he answered his questions, others got another shot,” said Aubrey. “Being out here, I think a lot of these guys did what they had to do. A lot of people impressed today.”
For a guy who has been there and performed in the league, Aubrey is more than confident Johnson has what it takes to join him someday in the NFL.
“If he keeps working, he'll be Gus. As long as he gets in there, works hard, learns the playbook, and shows he's committed, he's going to find a spot on some team,” said Aubrey.
“I'm getting back to work Monday. It's full-go getting ready for the draft and everything that comes with it,” said Johnson.
Johnson said he will be heading back to Houston to train. The numbers collected will now be looked over by NFL coaches and scouts. These athletes will learn their fate come time of the NFL Draft which begins April 30th and will go through May 2nd.
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