What Your Reading?

I'm starting this blog to help keep everyone in the loop on my football training so I hope you guys enjoy. I'll apologize in advance for the possible imperfect punctuation or spelling. As I've come to find, my girlfriend Haley is the first phone call I get for ALL my grammatical errors LOL. But ill do my best to keep them interesting and easy to follow. I will also try to post pictures just to help give a visual to different people, buildings, and events.

* Feel free to leave comments if there is anything you want to hear more about that im not covering.

** IMPORTANT: If this is your first time reading the blog you're going to want to start at the bottom and work your way up to the current.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How it Works?

As far as football updates go, my agent was in Indy for the NFL Combine this weekend and told me he had the opportunity to talk to several scouts about me.  Nothing super unexpected but he told me that I had teams legitimately interested but they just have to see that I’m running well and my ankle is completely healed.  The current teams that he told me were interested are as followed: Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, and the San Diego Chargers. I realize that a lot of you aren’t familiar with the terminology and process of making it into the NFL, so my goal in this blog is break it down for you so that it’s easy to understand. 

Ok, so when I say that teams are interested, it’s the same as normal jobs where a company has a list of applicants that have qualifications for the job.  Then they pull some of the names from the list and take a look at their résumé. 
Football Translation This is where coaches have watched my film and have decided that its worth it to come to my Pro Day (typically at the college or university attended) and I run my 40 yard dash, bench press, etc.

Then the employers pull out the résumés that impressed them and invite the candidate to an interview. 
Football Translation If impressed by my performance at Pro Day a team would invite me their rookie camp for five days in May. 

Then if they were pleased with the interview they invite you back for a follow up interview where you are interviewed and tested further. 
Football Translation → I would be invited to the Summer Camp in August leading into the pre-season games to further evaluate my talent level and potential with the team.

After evaluating all the other employees they either tell you they want to hire you, you didn’t get the job, OR it just isn’t the right time for the company to hire you. 
Football Translation → You either get a job on the active roster and make a minimum of $375,000 (53 man roster) , they tell you that you didn’t make the cut, or they place an offer to keep you apart of the organization on the practice squad (Seven players per team) because they see potential in you and want to keep you around to develop you for the future and they usually make around $90,000.

After that you look around and continue to send out your résumé to other companies for work.    
Football Translation→ Your name is placed on Waivers List which is list where everyone in the NFL sees that a team let you go and now has the opportunity to sign you to their team. 

***Hope this break down helped you understand a little more about the process and how you can relate to everyday jobs.

On a side note: got small bit of film from the boxing workout I’m going post soon once I get it

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday Night

Got a call Saturday night by one of the trainers at Pro Edge (Joel)  who explained that he had a night planned with a group of guys and had some of them bailed so they had some extra seats if I was interested.  So yea,  I was there in about ten minutes to find a white Escalade limousine with all the ProEdge Trainers and some of the guys I train with such as Dan, and Cameron (ASU guys).  On the way we picked up Bobby Wade and Dennis Northcutt both former in NFL wide receivers .  If you remember, I met Bobby at Derricks super bowl party so he remembered me and was asking when I was going to start running routes.  But eventually we made our way downtown to the Phoenix Event Center where we went to an MMA Cage fight.  Joel is good friends with the owner of the event so we got cage side seating.  Joel had just entered into a professional fight (skipping the amauter level) at the same arena a few months down the road in May so he was kind of giving everyone a preview of what he's going to do.  The funny part is that he is doing it just for fun which if you ask me is nuts! That’s about the last thing I’d have on my bucket list but as he told me, it’s at the top of his; but honestly he’s got the right personality and mindset to be a serious contender if you ask me.  I have never seen MMA or UFC in person so it was a cool experience, you could literally hear every punch.

Reality Check

Here’s just a little bit of perspective I thought I’d share. Anyways here it is…It’s funny when you hang out with guys that are current/former in the NFL, or college guys highly touted to be drafted or signed to a team you start to naturally acquire the same attitude and thought process for good and for bad.   The good is that you train and prepare everyday with the attitude and confidence of making a camp and getting a job with a team when the day comes.  That kind of confidence is critical because if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities then you don’t deserve for others to believe in you; plain and simple.  But on the other side of the picture I found myself talking and thinking more and more about money, new cars, and new houses (almost as if I thought I already had the money) because it’s what you hear a lot about and see a lot of.  I don’t want to confuse anyone because those things are NOT bad things to want or have.  My point is that it’s very easy to get caught up in a materialistic world and trying to "look like" a professional athlete if that makes sense.  Those things are a blessing to have but in the end, they are not the key to “happiness or success” (e.g. look at recent celebrity deaths due to over dose).  Well theirs my two cent on the that lol those of you who know me well, know that I’ll go off an a tangent here and there!

Side note: Terrell (DE) went back to Columbia for his pro day coming up in a few weeks.

Doctors Appointment

On Tuesday I drove to Scottsdale with Tom (my athletic trainer/ physical therapist) to get x-rays and see the status of my foot;  particularly the navicular bone which I broke this season and now have a screw in.  The results were…………….Perfection! The doctor told me that the x-ray “it looks amazing, right now it looks as good as it could possibly look you should be very happy ” and that my surgeon Dr. Thomas Distefano, MD did a great job with the surgery.  So in short this was a HUGE step forward toward my progression of recovery so now we can step the rehab up.  However the Doctor did insist that we stick to the script (recovery plan) because it’s gotten me this far and that I need to continue to be patient and continue to build up my strength slowly.

This is an X-ray of my foot Jan. 22 (one month post opt)  and you can still see the space between the fracture.  Just to show you where im at, in my recent x-ray you can't see where the line is or for that matter even see where the fracture at all. So again very encouraging news.

Weekend 17th -19th

We had a great weekend!  I was fortunate enough to have my girlfriend Haley come out for the weekend. It was perfect timing for me.  It’s pretty easy to burn yourself out when you work out 7 days a week especially when every day is just about the same as the next. I’ve never been one to get homesick but I’ll have to admit, it was nice to see Haley and have a sense of home for a few days. Picked her up late Friday night and over the weekend I took her around Phoenix and tried to show her a good "Arizona" time in her first trip to the Desert; took her to airport on Monday to fly back.

*Picture of Haley @ the top of South Mountain with               * Me acting a fool on South Mountain
a view Phoenix in background 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Thats it?"

Typical Schedule of the Week

Upper Body,  Rehab, &
 Field Work/
Lower Body Day & Pool Workout
Boxing & Pool Workout
Field Work/
Upper Body & Rehab
Field Work/
Lower Body & Rehab
Field Work/
Pool Workout
Cardio and rehab

Monday we hit another upper body workout and it was by no means easy; but when Derrick said we were done, I had knee jerk reaction and said “that’s it??” ( I didn’t mean it in anyway but was just surprised because usually I can hardly lift my water bottle to my face). At first I was kinda laughing and he “kinda” was too an gave me a little grief but nothing big.   I was actually feeling pretty good about myself and that I was finally starting to come around. But for some reason I kept thinking about that conversation the next few days in the back of my head and here we are on Thursday with another upper body day….. You better believe it was his goal to personally punish me today! At the start of every set of lifts he would smile and say “Soy, you can start here” and he made sure to watch every set I did making the occasional jab “are you tired Soy? that’s it?”  I’m coming to find these personal trainers take pride in pushing you to the limit and breaking you down.  So the whole day I just grinned and kept my mouth shut cause I knew I had it coming.  And just to clarify, Derrick is a great trainer and an awesome guy; all the crap he was giving me was all in good fun.

On a side note: my football banquet is this weekend and I won’t be able to come back for it.  When you combine the costs and workouts I'll be missing it made for a tough decision.  My Pro Day is scheduled for March 23rd at Missouri Western and honestly I don’t know if I will be ready for it.  It’s approximately 5 weeks away so every day of training is critical for me which is why I’ve chosen to stay in Arizona for the weekend.  I hope my teammates and coaches know that I bleed green and would love to come back but it’s just not in the cards for me right now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Successful Night

Saturday night was a success.  Met up with Dan at his place, went to one of his buddy’s apartment downtown where we met up with the rest of his friends. Met a wide variety of people there and overall had a great time hanging out with them.  Went out to nice restaurant called Z-tejas and got some good food and a couple drinks.  Sat next to a guy that was with us that looked a little older than the rest of us so I sparked up conversation and tried to figure out where he fit in. Interestingly enough he turned out to be friends with one of the guys with us and also our bodyguard for the night.  And when I say “our” bodyguard, I really mean to say Brock's bodyguard.  His name was JD and he’s a private body guard full time for guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Tim Hightower, and other miscellaneous clients but it was cool to talk to him and hear a few stories.  It sounds funny having a body guard when you’re hanging out with guys who are 6’5” 300lbs but when you break it down; when or if something happens they can’t be getting into bar fights and end up being that guy in the newspaper the next morning.  For example, it would jeopardize Brock's draft status or any of the guys status if they were to get in fuss at the bar so that’s what JD is for.  After dinner we walked right across the street to a place called Robby Fox’s.  They had an outside section of the bar gated off for us behind the DJ booth.  I was surprised at how welcoming and friendly they were, really made me feel comfortable.  All in all they were great people and I would go out with them again.

On a side note- Chatted with Brock (QB) a little bit about football and told him about my situation.  To my surprise he didn’t hesitate to tell me that I was welcomed to throw with him as soon as I was healthy.  So naturally I was pretty happy about it, thanked him, and carried on chatting about other stuff.  That was pretty much the only football talk we had all night.  Being a football player myself I know it can get redundant when people only know you for football and you end up having the same football conversations several times a night.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Guys Night Out"

Can't believe it's already Friday, and I mean that literally! I would have bet someone a $100 it was still Wednesday!  Guess that's what happens when everyday is like groundhogs day.  But just when I thought I was going crazy I got invited by Dan Knapp- left  (ASU Offensive Lineman),  to go out with him and his crew to Mills Avenue where I think all the bars and nightclubs are for ASU students.  I've heard a lot about it from various sources that it's a pretty good time so im real pumped about that! I've been down here two full weeks and all I've done is eat, workout, eat, nap, workout, eat, sleep x 14 days! So a night out with the boys is definitely "ok" with me. He went on to tell me that we would going out with "the entourage" he said jokingly. Not real sure exactly what he meant but being there 5 years I'd assume their pretty well established.  He also mentioned  his old roommate Brock Osweiler goin out with us to.  Brock is the quarterback for Arizona State University and is forgoing his senior season for the NFL Draft.  He's projected to be drafted anywhere from the 2nd to 3rd round. He's about 6'8" and 240lbs so he's a big fella and has a cannon for an arm.  He's training at a facility 30 min away called API, im trying to finagle my way to getting to run some routes for him when im healthy buut we'll cross the bridge when it comes.  Anyways, looking forward to going out with these guys in there town and see how it stacks up against "Club Outback"  back in the ville lol.

Tonight meeting up with Dan & Terrell (defensive end for Missouri & we share same agent) to go see the movie Safe House with Denzel Washington.  The way I see it, you can't go wrong with anything he's in.  But not gunna lie feels good to start hanging out with some guys and building a little bit of a friendship.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finally another "new" guy

Day 10 – Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again, so back to boxing.   Started up at 9:00am and got done around 10:30am.  This round of boxing was a lot harder than it was last week.  For one, Joe the other WR down here with me had a miscommunication and missed the session so I was by myself for the workout which made me have to work at pretty quick rate. Second, Billy “the boxing” trainer told me today was more for conditioning so he upped the reps and increased the combos.  For those of you have never tried boxing, it’s like a tongue twister for your body; combination of thinking/reacting fast while being coordinated with your body. I'd say I'm fairly athletic and it's my second time and I still don't look real smooth.  After the boxing we iced and I headed over to the pool where we got good pool workout in for about an hour and half.  Will go back in later this afternoon to rehab and ice my ankle again.

On a side note:  Finally got another “new” guy who had his “first day” of initiation as I’d like to put it. Unfortunately, It was a legs day for him and to make a long story short, after about 15 minutes he was out in the alley, back down, legs sprawled out, empty water bottle in hand. But I’ll give him credit, he came back in and finished the workout.  He played for University of Nevada and came out of college early as a CB and signed with the Rams as a free agent for half a season after being cut. He admitted to having a tough time learning the playbook and is working out at ProEdge to get back in shape because he has signed an Arena deal with the Iowa Barnstormers.  

Speaking of people coming in and out of the gym. Every time I’m at the gym there was this tall, slender/fit guy that is working out.  Not to be rude but just looked like average guy just coming in to workout (which happens at the gym at times; they can’t only rely on training elite athletes for their income so they have classes for everyone at diff times)……… anyways back to the story.  Today I finally decided to talk to him and discovered he’s been a pitcher in the MLB for the past 8 years or so.   His name is Angel Guzmen and he’s coming off shoulder surgery in 2010 and just signed with the Dodgers and is getting ready for spring training. Super nice guy, very soft spoken; e.g. I tapped him on the shoulder  before he left  and told him, he looked like he had a great workout out  and that he was looking really good. He was so appreciative, you would have thought I told him he was the best pitcher in the MLB. But I look forward to following him. Something I’m really coming to find enjoyable is meeting everyone at the gym.  Every athlete that comes in and out of the doors has their own story and identity.

I've got a great sense of direction...ha

Day 8-9

Got lost for about the 10th time today since I’ve been down here.  I had just got done with a pool workout and was “thrown” (aka slang for extremely tired- word from the locals lol).  The sun had gone down and by the time I got out of the building I was starving and had a headache;  I just wanted to get home and go to bed.  So of course we were at a new place where I wasn’t quite familiar with the roads and it was dark out so I ended up going in the opposite direction for about 10 minutes until I noticed.  Made a few phone calls and figured out where I went wrong at and got home.  I will say however that I’ve gotten to know the area better because of the amount of time I have been lost. There was one night when my phone died and it was about 9:00pm and I got lost and ended up finding a Wal-Mart, which I had conveniently been looking for the previous few days, so hey sometimes getting lost sucks but the moral of the story is you end up having better sense of direction after…at least that’s the spin I put om it hahaha.

As far as training is concerned, their still killing me. It’s a love/hate relationship you start to develop. Simply put, you love how much better there making you but hate the temporary pain and discomfort they leave you with!

On a side note:  I started this blog with the intensions of focusing solely on football but started find myself stating the same thing over and over so im going to try an throw in daily encounters I think you all might find interesting.. Also feel free to leave comments below (if that’s available, should be) and let me know if there is something or diff topics you want to hear more about.


First and foremost, gotta give a big shout out to former Bearcat Dave Tollefson, DE for the New York Giants and the now reigning NFL World Champs! Once just a walk-on at NWMSU, Dave now has his second Super Bowl ring!  Couldn’t be happier for the guy and you better believe I let everyone know at the super bowl party that I had a Bearcat on the squad!

The owner of ProEdge, Derrick Kennard, invited us (meaning the group of guys I work out with getting ready for their Pro Day/testing day for NFL scouts) to his house for the Super Bowl.  Not having much of a social life out here I gladly accepted!  Got to the house and was immediately introduced to about 20 people that I quickly forgot the names, but gradually got to know some of them on a more personal level throughout the night.  Little did I know, everyone there was a professional athlete as some level.  Derrick never mentioned that his dad (who was there) played for the Dallas Cowboys for 13 years in their glory days and had a super bowl ring.  Derrick himself who reminds me of my former roommate Harry McCoy based on size and personality himself played two years for the Colts. And then his little brother whose a starting linebacker at USC.  So yeaaaa…thats what I call a football family where they just breed athletes haha.  It was cool just to be in an atmosphere where they all knew so much about the game but most importantly had some GREAT food! 

One of Derrick’s friends he went to high school with was Bobby Wade, who I also got to know a little better.  He started asking me about football so I asked him if he played ball.  Turns out he had been a receiver in the NFL for 8 years and had just retired after 2009 when he was with the KC Cheifs for a year. Feeling like an idiot, I googled him real quick on my phone to get some background. Thank the lord for technology! He was real down to earth and gave me some good advice.  Of course I had a about 1,000 questions I wanted to ask but I limited it to only 100 or so…I told him I was going to be in town for a couple of months and he said he would stop by sometime and help me out with some route running.

On a Side Note: Found a local church just 2 miles away call New Heights and really liked it. The people were very friendly and I plan to go back next Sunday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thinking Heavy

Day 6 - Friday

Whoaa got on the scale this morning and weighed 210.4 lbs. Every morning we arrive at the gym and we are required to go in the bathroom, strip down naked and weigh in. On Monday, January 30th I weighed 204.8lbs; so were talking 5 lbs in a week!  I've done my best to eat healthy the past week an stay lean with the foods. But came in at 10:00am this morning and did about 2 hours of rehab. Later came back and did another workout in the afternoon with Tom.

Went to an Advocare "Mixer" today and learned about the products I am taking and talked about possibly being a distributor myself.  Gotta say I kinda bought into the product because of the success I've been having with my ankle and how far ahead of time I am in my rehabilitation.

Sidenote- Trying to do some research on finding a church to go to while im down here

Friday, February 3, 2012

Petrified Forest National Park

Just Arriving to Arizona, stopped and decided to take in some of the sights. Petrified Forest National Park
*If we would have known it was a 45 minute drive thru the park we wouldn't have done it haha...You can only look at rocks for so long before they all start looking the same.

Picture of Lifetime Fitness Building

Here's a picture of Lifetime Fitness Gym the gym that I do a lot of pool workouts, and auxilary lifts for my legs.  I'll try to post a few more pictures to give you guys a visual of what I'm talking about.

Getting Caught Up: Days 3-5

Doing my best to stay caught up so I can start updating daily.  Getting to the point where all my days are blending together which is why I don't have a day 2, I can't remember! But here are the last three days...

Day 3 – Wednesday
Wednesdays are boxing days.  It was the first time I have ever done a boxing workout or really got my hands wrapped and put on the gloves but I ended up loving it.  The first time you go through the combos is pretty similar to trying to learn a dance for the first time...it’s a little bit awkward but after awhile you get going and you can put it all together.  It definitely made me appreciate what professional boxers actually do. I started rehab that morning at 9:00am then started boxing at 10am and quit at 11:45am.  Fair to say my shoulders, back, and lats were pretty tight the rest of the day but again, had a blast with it. Later that afternoon I did a pool workout with Tom at Lifetime for about an hour.   

Day 4- Thursday
Started rehab at 9:00am then worked out with the group from 10:30 to about 12:15 doing an upper body workout that I thought would never end!  Don’t get me wrong I loved the workout and being pushed hard but there was literally a point I wanted to fight my trainer lol im serious, the guy was killing me, although I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of getting the "new guy."  It was defiantly one of the hardest upper body workouts I have ever done in my life. The only thing that kept me performing at a high level was peer pressure and personal pride.  For you to relate just think of a time where you went somewhere for the first time and even though you have done the same things before; you were personally rocked because you had never done the stuff in the same style and rate at which they had. But again, that’s why I came out here.   

Side Note- Lance Briggs came in and worked out in the gym and did the exact same boxing workout I had done the day before which was kinda cool.  For those who don’t know he’s an All-Pro Linebacker for the Chicago Bears. It’s kinda funny but I’m entering a stage in my life where I can’t get excited (or pretend not to) when I see or workout with a pro athlete/ childhood icon. Growing up as a kid it seems like there in another world when you always see them on tv and then all the sudden their right next to you..kinda surreal. *Long story short, I tried to play the cool guy role and never really talked to him and just gave the ole head nod.

After that one of the guys I train with from Arizona State let me follow him to their stadium/facilities where we got in an ice bath.   Before the ice bath we stopped by a building to pick up his bowl game gifts…You want to talk about the difference between DI and DII? You can start with  the size / speed of the athletes and can end with the GIFTS they get for bowl games!  I mean I have always heard about the stuff they get but when you actually  get to see them pick it up. Just to name a few: 32” Samsung Flat screen tv, Bose home surround sound system kit, Sony head phones, ipod speaker dock, ect.... Easy to say I was a little bitter saying we won the National Championship in 2009 and got a back pack, stocking cap, gold watch, and mini helmet. Anyways.....
At 3:30 we met on a local high school field and worked on stance techniques and foot work for agility drills done on pro days in front of scouts that are timed.  Being as I can't do any of that yet I just had to take mental reps.  The hardest part about my situation is being patient.  If I rush my recovery i risk further damage to my ankle but if I don't get ready by the required time (late March early April) then I won't even get a shot so all I can do is pray for patience and do everything that I can to put myself in a position to succeed. Its a long shot I know but I have nothing to lose.
Day 5- Friday
Today was a rehab day. Went in at 9:30am did some ankle exercises, and then road the bike for about 40 minutes.  When I come back and start running routes at full speed again you have to consider that my quad, hip flexor, hamstring, and calf muscles have to also be in shape.  It doesn’t matter if I have a healthy ankle if the rest of the muscles in my leg arn’t up to par and vice versa.  So you can figure every time I’m doing "rehab" it includes my entire left leg.  It gets pretty repetitive and takes a lot of time but its must if I’m going to have a chance at coming healthy. In the afternoon I met Tom at Lifetime for a pool workout where we did an hour of “rehab” on my legs and ankle.

On a side note – I had considered pushing back my arrival date to Feb. 5th which would be this coming Super Bowl Sunday for a variety of reasons but if I had, I would have had to post pone even longer or would have gotten stuck because of the massive snowfall expected in Colorado the next few days.  God was definitely looking out for me there!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 1

Hello Everyone!

I'm starting this blog to help keep everyone in the loop on my football training so I hope you guys enjoy.  I'll apologize in advance for the possible imperfect punctuation or spelling and most of these blogs will be random bits of information but ill do my best to keep them about football and easy to follow.

It's Tuesday, January 31 @ 3:20pm and its my second day down in Arizona.  I would brag about the 72 degree weather I'm having down here but its been 60 degrees past few days back home! But anyways my mother (Holly) and I started the drive to Arizona on Friday, with a pit stop in Kansas City at my girlfriend Haley's and then drove a solid 16 hrs Sat. and another 6-7 hrs on Sunday an finally arrived the house I will be staying at.  I'm staying with family friends who live just 3 miles away from my training facility and were gracious enough to let me impose on them for what will probably be 2 months.

 Reference Key: workout at 3 facilities
1) Pro Edge Performance Center - Rehab and Training center
2)Lifetime fitness - Rehab workouts/personal lifts
3)Aquatic Center - Pool workouts

Yesterday was my first day checking in at ProEdge Performance Center (Training Facility) and it felt like I was dropped off at college again for the first time lol.  You humbly become a nobody again as you realize there are hundreds of athletes working out trying to get the same job you are who are just as athletic as you are. At ProEdge the athletes im working out with are from Auburn, Arizona State, Arizona, Missouri, an a few small school guys.   It's a great atmosphere to be around an I'm ecstatic about working out there for the next few months.

Day 1
In a few words or less, yesterday morning was a check-in.  Tom Ellsworth (my trainer) took the measurements of my quads and calf muscles to see what the damage was from the 2 months being unable to work my left leg. After that I did some ankle rehab, iced and went home.  I came back for the afternoon workout at 3 where we did a solid upper body/core workout that had me in bed by 9pm asleep (first time in a while that's happened).