Share “John Urschel's diary: Road to the NFL draft”

John Urschel's diary: Road to the NFL draft

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm •  Published: February 19, 2014

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Editors: Penn State offensive linemen John Urschel will routinely provide a look at his journey leading up to the May 8 NFL draft in a series of diary entries. The all-Big Ten, third-team AP All-American has a Master's degree in math and was awarded the William V. Campbell Trophy as college football's top scholar-athlete. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound guard opens with a look at his preparation for the scouting combine, which begins Thursday in Indianapolis:


As my collegiate football career at Penn State ended, I made the trip to sunny San Diego.

For the past six weeks I have been training at Athletes Performance Institute in Carlsbad, California. My days were filled with intense training, both mentally and physically. I have one shot to make all my hopes and dreams come true, and want to do everything in my power to ensure that I am in the best possible position come the NFL draft in May.

The routine at API went like this:

— Wake up at 6 a.m., the sight of palm trees out the window of my hotel room helps me to forget it's winter. It's a nice change for a guy who grew up outside Buffalo, N.Y., and then spent five years in State College, Pa. But there is much work to do. I walk across the street to the API building, a new addition to the more established facilities (Phoenix, Pensacola, Los Angeles). The equipment is flawless. There is a turf field and running track on site. I arrive at 7 a.m. and work on removing the soreness from the previous day.

— My first workout of the day begins at 8 a.m. We go to the field and go through a rigorous warm-up. This, and every other combine workout, is led by speed and strength coach Brent Callaway, a former collegiate track star who now serves as one of the best combine prep coaches in the world. We do not simply run drills over and over. This is a science, and there is a formula to every event to obtain an optimal mark. Callaway is a master of this. The way this man talks you would expect him to have a Ph.D. in physics. Words such as lever, tension, momentum, vector, and energy dissipation are often heard. I feel right at home. He often jokes with me regarding my background in math.

— After that we lift weights. This is not the typical bench, clean, squat lifting that I was a student of at Penn State. This lift serves to increase power and explosiveness, while also attending to stability and core strength. This work has improved my overall athleticism significantly.

Continue reading this story on the...