Mar 26, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT
Editor’s Note: Former University of Richmond quarterback John Laub (’12) is currently training for the Spiders’ Pro Day and a shot to play at the next level. Join him on his journey as he shares his thoughts and experiences alongside his coach and three training partners in a series of weekly blog posts. While this is Laub’s final post, CAA Football will continue to follow up with him moving forward.
Hey CAA Football Fans, I’m writing to you for the final time during my training process for an NFL roster spot. My journey started back on December 30 and it’s been a long, grueling road to get to this point. With that said, being in the position that I am right now as the process winds down makes every second of every training session over these past three-plus months worth it. It’s also shown me the need to appreciate the gifts I’ve been given and the many opportunities I’ve had throughout my football career to even have a hope of playing football professionally. One of the most important things that this process has taught me is the importance of perseverance and focus when chasing your dreams and trying to accomplish the goals that you’ve set, which in my case is pursuing an NFL roster because it’s all about that 405.
As I mentioned in my last post, this past week was a very big week for me in terms of opportunities to perform in front of scouts. Last Tuesday was Richmond’s annual pro day and this past Saturday I also participated in the NFL Regional Combine at the Baltimore Ravens’ training facility in Owings Mills, Md. I was very happy with how the week turned out in terms of my performance in both the tests and throwing the football. My best results from pro day and the Regional Combine were a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, 4.13 pro agility, 34.5″ vertical jump, 9’10” broad jump and 16 reps of 225 bench. These numbers pretty much matched up with my expectations and the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the training process.
The Regional Combine gave me the chance to get lots of throws in to the many wide receivers who were also participating in the event, which was different than on Pro Day when I was more limited to throwing in defensive back drills and to our tight end Kevin Finney and running back Kendall Gaskins. In all, I think I threw close to 100 throws at the Regional Combine and it really gave me an opportunity to show off my arm strength and accuracy to routes on the perimeter. In driving back from the event, I was pretty confident with my performance. In fact, I’ve been very happy with how I performed with every showcase/tryout that I’ve been a part of during this training process. I feel that I’ve put myself in a great position moving forward to create some “buzz” around myself as both a quarterback and an athlete, in general.
Up until about five hours before I started writing this final blog post, I was a bit uncertain about where I’m supposed to go from here. But right before sitting down to dinner, I got a call from the NFL Regional Combine Office telling me that I had been invited to participate in their Super Regional Combine to be held April 7 and 8 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Needless to say, after talking to them I was very fired up about the opportunity. I’m still fired up about it. Not only to I now have the opportunity to go down and perform in the “Jerry Dome”, but I have another chance to get myself closer and closer to attaining that goal of getting that 405. It also diminishes all the uncertainty for a bit and allows me to solidify in scouts’ minds that I have the talent and athleticism to make an impact on a team.
I mentioned this in my last blog post, and it’s something that I’ve realized fits perfectly to my current situation, which is simply that all you need is one person to give you that shot to be their guy. You just need that one opportunity to prove that you belong. This Super Regional Combine might be the one opportunity that I need. This is how I’ve been approaching every single showcase and tryout that I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in this winter, and it’s the mindset that I’m going to continue embracing moving forward.
In looking back at the process, one of the huge things that’s become apparent to me is the importance of not taking your opportunities for granted. When I first starting my training, I was eight weeks out of ankle surgery and the only showcase that I had lined up was the Richmond’s pro day. Since then I’ve been had the fortune of taking part in four total tryouts, showcases and combines and am now set to participate in one more down in Dallas.
Every single day since December 30 has been critically important to getting me to where I’m at today. When you have the opportunity to perform and show what you’re capable of doing, you need to take full advantage of that. You need to have put all the work in and you can’t waver in terms of your focus and discipline when you’re trying to achieve your dreams. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of the individuals who have made sacrifices for me and who have helped me to get to the position that I’m in today. I would be doing a disservice to them if I didn’t give 100 percent with every opportunity that I’m given. Before this process began, I think I had a concept of this and somewhat understood its importance, but throughout this process that understanding has increasingly grown and I’ve truly benefited from it.
With all that being said, I’m truly grateful that CAA Football has allowed me to share my experience with everyone. I hope people have gained some insight and perspective into the pursuit of the NFL dreams of the student-athletes they watch every Saturday during the fall. In writing all of these posts, the main thing that I was hoping to convey is just the importance of pursuing your dreams, setting objectives and doing everything in your power to achieve them. This is something I’ve tried to do throughout my life. I believe that if you’re going to set these goals and expectations for yourself, you may as well put your all into them because that’s when you get the most out of the journey and experience.
I also want to say thank you to the individuals who have read these posts every week. I genuinely appreciate everyone joining me on my journey to go out and get that 405.
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