Being around all the great players and meeting all the great coaches that I watched on TV all those years was life changing. I had a lot of fun, even though the schedule is crazy. You get up super early every day and go to bed super late after formal meetings with teams, but it’s all part of the process and I didn’t sweat it one bit. I signed up for this so I had no choice but to love it – and I sure did.
I met with over 20 teams and it seemed like every team really tried to get to know me as a person in a very short amount of time. I’m a private person and not as out there as the other quarterbacks, but I feel like I was able to come across who I was. Normally I prefer to keep things confidential within my own circle, but this is not a normal situation.
I had heard that there might be some silly, off-the-wall questions from teams, but there wasn’t, so that was a bit of a surprise. My favorite question was every time they asked me about my family. I love talking about my family – that’s why I could even be at the combine – and bragging about them is the best.
My mother worked two to three jobs, so I got my little brother dressed and took him to school every day. He is like my son. I think teams were surprised to hear that as I’m only 20 years old. But I am quite mature for my age.
Everything was leading up to me taking the field on Saturday night, and while I wouldn’t say I wasn’t nervous, I was a little anxious to get out there and show what I could do. I feel like my team and I prepared the right way and I was able to just go out there and have fun.
Did Anthony Richardson’s NFL combine workout put him in play for the draft’s No. 1 pick?
Richardson, at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, cleared 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet, 9 inches in the broad jump. The jumps were NFL combine records for a quarterback.
As for the 40, I know I have a great second gear, so it’s about the start for me. When I felt like I had started down in the warm-ups, I knew it was going to be a good race. I’m a strong person and I knew I wanted to get speed and energy going.
I started training on the 26th of December, took a few weeks off after the season ended to clear my head, and then I was right back at it. Tork (Sports Performance in St. Augustine, Fla.) helped me get my body and mind right and helped me with my mechanics. I use my hips more instead of just relying on my strong arm. Muscle can only get you so far.
When it came to the two jumps, I was actually disappointed with my numbers. I’ve been jumping over and off fences and doing backflips from swings since I was a kid, plus always seeing how high I could go. We used to take my mom’s mattress out of her room and put it in the living room and go crazy with backflips and everything.
I thought I’d get 41 (inches) and 11 feet, but hey, I can’t complain too much. They were records. I’m not sure if I’ll try it all again at my Pro Day. I will talk about it with my team.
It’s been fun competing against these other quarterbacks, some I’ve known for four or five years and some even longer than that. Going through the last week together, at the time when we are living our dreams, is very cool. We love each other, but we know what’s on the table and we grind and want to hit each other.
NFL Combines Winners and Losers: Who Rises After Week in Indianapolis?
I think any quarterback, when he sees his brother sling it and rip it out there, it makes us all feel good. And that was the case on Saturday night. We all congratulated each other.
A journalist the other day said something about me being a project but I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone but myself. Believe in myself, keep having faith and keep grinding everyday. I can throw the ball, I can run, I can jump high and I’m smart. Everyone knows that.
It’s about keeping the momentum going.
(Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)