ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Rashan Gary’s over training for 60-yard shuttles, broad jumps, and three-cone drills. The former Michigan defensive end did that for weeks leading up to the NFL Scouting Combine, and then absolutely aced the test.
Gary’s combine numbers were excellent, record-setting in some respects. His 40-yard dash was lighting quick for someone standing 6-foot-4, 276 pounds, and he showed agility and power at every turn.
Gary saw little use in doing it all over again Friday morning at Michigan’s pro day. He weighed in and then took a spot on the sideline cheering former teammates. His combine measurements and times will stand alone, which is fine by him and most scouting this event.
NFL scouts already know he’s an athletic freak, including some that met with him Friday. Another vertical jump won’t change those thoughts. It was time to turn the page.
“It’s time to get back to football,” Gary said at Michigan’s Schembechler Hall. “I trained hard for all the drills and tests, and I feel like I did what I had to do at the combine. Now I’m focused on playing the game of football and areas where I need to improve.”
There isn’t much left to show at this point. Gary’s game tape is out there for all to see. His combine numbers are, too. That’s why he didn’t break a sweat Friday, exerting himself only during his takeover of the NFL’s Instagram account. He put the phone down after the well-attended session wrapped, stood before a wall of Michigan greats, hoping he’s the next Wolverine to star in the NFL.
Gary hadn’t been to Ann Arbor, Mich. in some time, training for the combine down south. He enjoyed a relatively quick return to Michigan and the opportunity to catch up with old friends and bask in the school’s great tradition.
“My fingerprint still works (to get in the building), so I guess they haven’t kicked me out yet,” Gary said with a smile. “I’m happy to be back and reminiscing about all the good memories I made here the past few years.”
Physically, he’s already prepping for rookie minicamp for an undetermined team.
“I’m stuck in grind mode,” Gary said. “I’ll get back down to Texas (at former Olympian Michael Johnson’s training complex) and start preparing for rookie minicamp. I won’t think about the draft until the day it gets here when I’m waiting for my phone to ring and ready to put on a new hat.”
The cap’s logo and color scheme will become clear shortly after the NFL Draft begins on April 25. Gary’s expected to be a top 10 pick, believing full well he’s the No. 1 prospect in this draft. He’s scheme versatile. He can play anywhere, do it all well.
The exact selection won’t change his confidence and frankly isn’t the most important thing to a physically imposing, yet soft-spoken guy who has trained most of his life for an NFL opportunity.
“I just want to go to the perfect fit for me,” Gary said. “I want to play for a team who likes me for me and what I can bring to the table. I just want the opportunity to play football man, to strap that helmet and pads back on and go play. The team that drafts me is going to get someone always pushing to be great. When I say that, I mean Pro Bowls and Super Bowls and the Hall of Fame. That’s the mindset I have. I’m going to strive and push until I get there.”
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Convincing NFL teams that is the only thing left at this stage, Gary is letting potential employers in a bit, to show them what he stands for. That will happen during in-depth official visits to NFL teams. He has a long schedule ahead, including stops with the Raiders and 49ers and several other teams picking near the top of the NFL draft.
“People want to find out what makes me tick, and my knowledge of the game,” Gary said. “It’s about them learning who I am and what I can bring to the table and how they can help me be the best player I can be. I want to be great.”