In a matter of weeks, hundreds of elite athletes from across the nation, including two former Bulls, will have their dreams either realized or crushed.
The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, runs from Feb. 28 – March 6 and will test football players on a variety of mental and physical skills to assess their readiness for the NFL.
Following a record-breaking 11-win season, wide receiver Rodney Adams and running back Marlon Mack will be representing USF in Indianapolis.
When Adams takes the field for his workout on March 4, he’ll be doing so with a purpose even more dear to his heart than advancing his career in football.
Adams lost his mother in a car accident shortly before coming to USF, and now he’s using his talents to give back to kids who have been put in situations like he was.
“Not many people know this, but my mom was pretty much my best friend,” Adams wrote on his Instagram account. “She is the main reason why I am who I am, and where I am today. Not many people know this either, but my mom died in a car accident not much more than a year ago.
“I know what it’s like to lose a parent at a young age, and I know the feeling of loneliness and sadness that this can cause.”
To help kids who have also lost a parent, Adams is raising money by asking people to pledge money based off his vertical jump at the Combine. People can make donations at pledgeit.org/Rodney-adams and will have to pay a corresponding dollar amount for how many inches Adams jumps in Indianapolis.
According to his pledge page, Adams has estimated that he will jump roughly 33 inches at the Combine.
Joining Adams in Indianapolis during the first weekend of March will be former running back Marlon Mack.
The record-setting former Bull has been spending the time leading up to the Combine training at Bommarito Performance Systems in Davie, Florida, where NFL players such as Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliot and Rob Gronkowski train.
Mack said he’s altered his diet with the intention of getting leaner and adding a few pounds to further impress scouts.
In preparation for the NFL Draft, Mack has hired GoalLine Football to be his manage his career at the next level.
“We took Marlon on because he was a highly productive player in college,” Steven Feld of GoalLine Football said in an email interview with The Oracle. “The USF all time leading rusher. He’s a great kid from a great family. He has all the intangibles to be a good player at the next level.”
Though it was a tough decision, Mack said he feels he’s ready for the next level after already accomplishing so much at USF.
“My prime motivation in entering the draft was that I believe in my talent, I believe that I’m ready to take on the NFL,” Mack said.