When is it time to leave the school days behind? Time to face reality. My reality check was when I received luggage for a graduation gift. For the players in the A.C.C., the reality check is a little more extreme. These young men are leaving school to focus on their profession. The bright lights and big cities of N.F.L. franchises beckon. I spoke with two former Blue Devils to ask them a few questions about the journey.
This a team that the Hokies had upset for their signature win for the second half of the season. I got to speak with Laken Tomlinson, offensive lineman on the North squad, to discuss his progression, and his overall thoughts from the Senior Bowl.
Laken Tomlinson not only protected the blind side, he lived it. He left the struggles of Jamaica, to grow up on the mean streets of Chicago. Both young men are still close with David Cutcliffe, and were fortunate enough to be room mates here in Mobile.
The Hurricanes also made their appearance here in the Port City. One of the biggest movers this week was by Phillip Dorsett. At a svelte 5"10" 185, he showed explosive speed and great hands. I had the opportunity to visit with Phillip and ask him a few questions.
I was a little skeptical of his size, then I saw him catch a pass from Blake Simms, Alabama QB, in traffic.
Some common themes starting showing up in my Senior Bowl adventures. The A.C.C. provides a great base for competition. There is no significant gap between the conference and the other big boys. I watched the best talent the A.C.C. had to offer and was impressed. I was impressed not only at the talent levels, but the way these young men carried themselves.
They had to face some of the most crazy questions one could face. They took on S.E.C. corners. They took on Big 12 lineman. They endured stupid questions.
When I finally got my turn with Bryce Petty, Baylor QB, I could only offer this:
So I had the chance to ask the the best QB in Mobile what he thought of southern hospitality? That's akin to asking Donald Trump "How's the Money?". It just proves to show when you leave the friendly confines of your school, or your comfort zone, anything can happen. The mind games will follow these players to Indianapolis and the combine. I just hope the deal breaking question wasn't anything I asked.