Rough Draft: Pretty Fullbacks and Yoga
The next morning it hurts to roll out of bed. I've completed one day of training and have two months to go. At the end of the first day's training session, Kurt Hester divided the class of 16 into two even groups of eight that were posted on the wall in the locker room. Hester wants to do this because it allows him to give the individual attention to each of the athletes. "Sixteen is just too many all at once," he tells me as we stand off to the side of the field watching the first group finish off their workout.
Today we begin with usual dynamic flex warm-up and then move on to work on lateral quickness, specifically the pro shuttle (some call this the 20-yard shuttle). The pro shuttle requires an athlete to begin with one leg on either side of a yard line. The left hand is placed on the yard line and then the player sprints five yards to the right, touches the line, sprints 10 yards to the left, touches the line, and finishes by sprinting five yards back through the original starting point. So, in all, you cover 20 yards.
Hester doesn't care whether the drill is called the 20-yard shuttle or the pro shuttle, what he cares about is making sure we line up properly. And by line up properly, I mean by properly cheating. Hester demonstrates for us all how to line up normally and then how to cheat. "They're going to tell you to make sure your balls are centered on the line. But once you center your balls, and they say okay, if you readjust your feet you can get a couple of inches closer to the sideline. Like this."
Hester sidles his right foot over so that he's just a bit closer to the five-yard line. Then he has us all line up and practice the maneuver. "Y'all got it," he says. "Like I tell my wife all the time, every inch matters."
After practicing our starts we move on to doing step-over drills over large blue pads placed on the field. I'm next-to-last in the roster with Big Mike Oher bringing up the rear behind me. There are six blue pads placed even distances in front of us. At first we merely put one foot in the gap between each pad. This is fairly easy. Then we make things tougher. We go over laterally with one foot in each gap. Finally we go backwards.
Marcus Monk is leading the group in the drill and after a couple of turns, several of the guys grab him and say, "Man, slow that s**t down." Monk grins and nods. "Sometimes I just get so excited," he says by way of explanation.
Two of the guys in our group Dorien Bryant, wide receiver from Purdue, and Peyton Hillis, fullback from Arkansas, are still recovering from injuries and not yet cleared to do full-speed work. They stand on the side doing slow drills at their own pace.
Dorien is a prodigious talker, the anti-Mike Oher. Born in New Jersey, the son of a Portuguese father and a black mother, Dorien is small, 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds. Coming out of high school as a four-star wide receiving prospect and the number nine receiver in the country, he received over 80 scholarship offers. At Purdue he put up impressive numbers in Coach Joe Tiller's pass-happy offense. After four years, Dorien Bryant, a lightly-bearded man with dark eyes, is one of the top receivers in Big Ten history, second all-time in receptions and fourth all-time in yards. Despite this on-field production, Bryant's size makes his draft status uncertain; he needs to display blazing forty speed to overcome doubts about his size and ability to withstand hits in the NFL. In addition to being extremely talkative, Bryant, currently projected as a fourth-round pick, is also brashly confident. "If I don't go in the first or second round of the draft," he says, "I'm going to be so mad."
Both men watch as we place rubber bands just below our knees and work on 15-yard jab steps, first with the right foot and then with the left. Next are double jab steps with the right and double jab steps with the left. After only a few steps in a squatting position with the bands wrapped around your knees your thighs burn and you want to be done with the workout as quickly as possible. But we aren't done very fast at all.
Because as soon as the bands drill ends, Hester lays out several colored markers spaced every five yards. In all there are five different colors, yellow, blue, orange, red and green, every five yards up to a final distance of 25 yards. We're to start facing backwards and then turn and run to the color that Kurt Hester calls out. We sprint to the colored line, and then light jog back only to repeat the process again.
The drill is brutal, particularly for me. Because the other guys I'm training with are fast. Really fast. I'm struggling to keep up with Ole Miss offensive tackle Mike Oher the entire time. As a result, I start to cheat a bit on returning all the way to the starting line. When I get close to the line, I turn, cutting short the running distance, and start running back to the colors so I can keep up with the other guys. Dorien Bryant, watching from the sideline, notices this as does another of our trainers, Antwan Stewart a former defensive back for Tennessee. Both of them draw attention to me. "Bookman's cheating," they scream, pointing at me and jumping up and down.
I pretend not to hear them for a couple of rounds. We're all breathing so hard that I don't think anyone else is noticing. But Dorien and Antwan keep up their constant "Bookman is cheating," catcalls. Eventually, all of the guys on the field are standing, hands on hips, and looking at me. "Bookman thinks he's slick," says Marcus Monk. "But we see you Bookman."
Out of breath, I switch places with Big Mike Oher. "I'm hiding behind you," I say.
"I want to hide behind you," Big Mike says, each word ponderously escaping from his mouth as if it's the last he'll ever speak.
The drill continues. We're all dragging by this point. I can't feel my legs and no matter how hard I try I can't get a single full breath. If I hadn't started training with Wil Santi, I'd be dead right now. When the drill mercifully ends, everyone collapses on the ground for a few seconds rest and then eventually heads for the showers.
At lunch I sit across the table from Peyton Hillis, a white fullback from Arkansas. Hillis has paved the way as the lead blocker for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones over the previous three years and is projected by most scouts, Mel Kiper included, to the be the top fullback available in the draft. Hillis is dark-haired, sculpted, perpetually tan even in the midst of winter, without leg, chest or arm hair, and one of the most popular Arkansas football players of recent years. There's a fan website devoted to his every action. Hillis has a deep southern accent and already it's been established in training that he has a great fondness for calling everyone, "brother," a word he manages to drag for several syllables. As in, "How you doing, bruuuuther." For the first two days of training, and this is not an exaggeration, Hillis has done every drill with a toothpick in his mouth. Kurt Hester has already suggested they're going to have to make a special NFL mouthpiece for him with a hole for the toothpick.
Hillis leaves the lunch table early and Purdue wide receiver Dorien Bryant can't wait to talk about him. "Man, that dude has gel in his hair for the workout. He tried to tell me he just woke up and his hair was like that. I was like, 'And it stays wet all day, too?'"
The table erupts. Dorien turns to me. "Bookman, you have to call him Peyton 'Pretty Boy Hillis' in the book. He's got to be the prettiest fullback in the country."
This is undoubtedly true. Hillis even lifts weights wearing bright yellow gloves to keep his hands from becoming too callused. Despite all this, he's amazingly tough and strong. At 6'1" 240 pounds, Hillis took on rugged SEC linebackers on play after play to clear the way for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. As if that weren't enough, in 2007, Hillis was Arkansas's top receiver with 49 catches out of the backfield for 537 yards. He also rushed for 347 yards on just 62 carries. And in the final regular season game of Arkansas' season, a double overtime win on the road at eventual national champion LSU, Hillis rushed 11 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns and caught 5 passes for an additional 62 yards and two more touchdowns. Four touchdowns against the national champion on the road, including one 65 yard touchdown run where Hillis shot through a gap in the line and outran the entire LSU defense.
Hillis' personality is composed of equal parts reticence and bravado. In the words of trainer Kurt Hester, "Hillis is just awesome because on the one hand he's a complete recluse and on the other he's a total narcissist." At one point shortly after training begins Hillis pulls me aside, takes the toothpick out of his mouth, and puts his arm around my neck, "I got the perfect title for your book, Bookman." He pauses and raises his right eyebrow. "Peyton's Place," he says, "with a big picture of me on the cover." He grins and poses with his arms crossed in front of his chest. "What do you think about that?"
Back at D1, I'm lifting in the afternoon with the guys who've signed with the Priority Agency: J. Leman, linebacker from Illinois, Craig Stevens, tight end from Cal-Berkeley; Steve Justice, a center from Wake Forest; Jason Jones, a defensive end from Eastern Michigan; Kory Lichtensteiger, a center from Bowling Green; Geoff Schwartz, an offensive tackle from Oregon; and Frank Okam, a defensive tackle from Texas.
As we begin, Kurt Hester is a mad man, jumping from one lifting station to another, screaming, bumping chests, cajoling one more repetition on virtually every set. Hester mixes insults, "Justice, you're a p***y," instructional advice, "Shove your hips like you're giving a girl a good f*****g, not like you're playing just the tip," and exhortation, "Hell, yeah! Yes, like that!" Often in one long loop that returns from whence it came. "Justice, you pussy, give it to her Jason, yeah, the whole thing, that's what I'm talking about Kory, yeah, Kory, yeah!" Hester is a whirling dervish of motivation, excess, and talk, all without sleeves. At no point is he still during the lift.
To close, after establishing a beginning number of times that each man can do 225 pounds on the benchpress, Hester throws out a medicine ball and has us all finish with medicine ball push-ups. If you've never tried doing push ups on a medicine ball, it's about 10,000% harder than doing push-ups on the ground. Especially after you've just maximum repped bench-pressed 225, and spent the entire morning working on your speed. The ball skitters across the floor, your arms are constantly shaking, and it's hard to hold up your body up. But this isn't tough enough for Hester, or for J. Leman, linebacker from Illinois.
Leman, who finished tied for 22nd in the country and third in the Big Ten in tackles and started every game at linebacker at Illinois for the past three years, explains that one of the first things Ron Zook did when he arrived at Illinois was walk through the locker room tossing aside five-pound plates. "We don't use five-pounders here anymore!" Zook screamed.
J. is a beast, a player mirror of Hester's intensity during the workout, who goes only by a single initial. As if that weren't enough, Leman has branded himself Turbo, in homage to the former American Gladiator, and after each set he walks around flexing, bumping into other guys, and referring to himself in the third person. As in, "Turbo needs more!" Unprompted he straps on a 45-pound belt, ties it around his waist, and rips out sets of ten pull-ups during short breaks in the workout.
He's firing up the other guys, including Kurt Hester, which is virtually impossible to do since Hester is always intense. After his first set off push-ups on the medicine ball, Hester decides Turbo Leman needs to be draped in chains, heavy chains, the chains that are attached to the bench to make bench presses that much more difficult.
"Does Turbo want some chains?" Hester exhorts, already having taken the chains off the weight bench.
"Hell yeah," Turbo Leman yells.
The chains are draped all over Leman's back. He sinks a bit under the weight, but utters no protest. Then he begins to rep out his push-ups. As he drops to the top of the blue medicine ball, the chains clank on top of him. In typical Turbo style each push-up is accompanied by guttural exclamations. "Nothing can hold me down!" Turbo Leman screams after each push-up.
Eventually he finishes his set, Hester removes the heavy chains from his back, and stands. Turbo's a bit wobbly on his feet. He places his hands on his hips and stares at the ceiling, quiet for a moment, as he regains his composure. Not to be outdone, Craig Stevens, tight end from Cal-Berkeley, his apartment roommate, drops to the ground and is also draped in chains.
"Let's go, business bear," says Oregon tackle Geoff Schwartz, clapping.
Stevens has been taking grief for the past two days for describing the University of Cal-Berkeley's Golden Bear mascot, Oskie, as "a business bear." Per Stevens, "He's got this tie on and he looks like he's going to work, a business bear."
Now Craig "the business bear" Stevens does sets of medicine ball push-ups with the heavy chains clanging around him. At the end Turbo Leman walks over to him and, for the first time in about 20 minutes, speaks in something other than a shout, "That was pretty tough," Turbo Lehman whispers. He's silent for a moment and then says, "Are your ears still ringing too?"
The clanking of the iron was particularly loud during the sets. I ask Kurt Hester how much the chains weigh that he draped on each man. "Not much, just 60 pounds or so," he says.
Back in the locker room, everyone collapses on the couches and watches television while snacking on bananas and Gatorade. Our day is not done. Yoga is forthcoming for those of us who aren't offensive linemen, those guys are working with former all-pro Tennessee Titan Brad Hopkins. So this means that only four of us will be in the yoga class today: Turbo Leman, Craig Stevens, Eastern Michigan defensive end Jason Jones and Texas defensive tackle Frank Okam.
I jog across the chilly D1 parking lot to the yoga studio with Turbo Leman and Craig Stevens. This is my first time to ever do yoga; Turbo and Craig have been once before, last week.
We enter a dark room and see a small, dark haired, forty-something woman sitting in the front of us. Not only is the room dark but there seems to be a sort of orange glow inside, like a light bulb has been covered with an orange peel. Several blue yoga mats are spread out on the floor and, and all the shades have been pulled on the windows, giving the room a cloistered, monkish feel. It's hot, boiling hot, the heat has been cranked up and New Age music is playing on the radio. It smells vaguely of incense. We sit down and begin to pull off our shoes and socks.
Our yoga instructor stands and approaches me as I'm pulling off my sweaty socks. "Now, I believe one of y'all is new. Where did you play?" she drawls.
Before I can answer, Turbo Leman introduces me, "He's the quarterback for Florida."
"Okay, good to have you with us. I'm Paige," our yoga teacher says.
"I had a good year," I say.
There are eight mats spread out and only three of us. Quickly Stevens and Leman grab extra mats and put them under their own mats. "This stuff kills your knees," Stevens explains, "you better get an extra mat."
For a brief moment we close our eyes and stare ahead. It's comfortable and relaxing. From there things turn hellish. We're led through a series of poses that are incredibly difficult, particularly after the double workouts. At one point my triceps literally give out for the first time in my life while holding a pose on my forearms, I fall straight forward into the mat, slamming my face to the ground.
"Dude," says Turbo Leman, "brace yourself."
My triceps are so cramped that I have to sit out several poses. Stevens and Leman are groaning and their joints are popping on each position. Particularly Craig Stevens, who catches my eyes during a set where he's twisted up like a pretzel and whispers, "This is awful. My body's not supposed to go these directions."
After each set of yoga poses, we return to "our happy place." Happy is a pose where we rest on our knees and lean forward so that our head touches the mat and our hands are stretched out in front of us. It's comfortable in the way that sleeping on a concrete floor is comfortable in comparison to trying to sleep while standing. But Turbo Leman can not restrain himself, "I love happy," he sighs contentedly.
Halfway through the workout Frank Okam, defensive tackle from Texas, and Jason Jones, defensive end from Eastern Michigan, arrive and join us. Things get more difficult now. Every time Paige tells us to stand, I contemplate remaining seated on the ground. I'm tired, really tired. Every muscle in my body has already been worked, and now I'm being asked to stand on one foot and turn my body without moving my torso first, which is more difficult than it sounds. Especially when balanced on one foot and extending the other foot in a forward line. My whole body is shaking. Everyone is groaning and silently cursing under their breath. Two of the guys return to the happy place, burying their heads into the mat and groaning, even while the rest of us are standing. Paige, our instructor, is blissfully unapologetic regarding our pain.
"I never thought," she says, "that little old me would ever be able to make so many big football players hurt this bad."
Then she giggles.
Jason Jones says softly so that only we can hear, "This white yoga lady is crazy."
The next day, Wednesday, Kurt Hester rents out a local indoor pool as a planned day of recovery for our bodies. The idea is to loosen up the muscles without putting additional stress on them. I arrive late to find the entire combine class already in the water jogging in place. Everyone calls out "Bookman," in tandem and I climb in the pool to join them.
"Bookman's already taking it easy," says Hester.
Hester is not in the pool, he's walking around outside the rim, a drill sergeant in black shorts, white tennis shoes, and a long-sleeve red pullover, telling us what to do. The pool is only three-feet deep, and we work on jogging in place, resting our arms on the rim of the pool and lifting our legs in a rapid flex start, and on pushing our legs from a raised position back down into the water. The idea is to train our bodies to move through the water in the same manner that we do on the field.
Kory Lichtensteiger, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound center from Bowling Green University, bears the brunt of ridicule during training. He's very pale and his skin has turned a brilliant red upon contact with the pool chemicals. "Are you okay, Kory?" asks Hester, eyeing Lichtensteiger's red-splotched body with apprehension.
"I'm fine, my skin just gets like this," says Kory.
Lichtensteiger is unique among those training because he's married and has a three-year old son. His wife, Mandy, and son, Aiden, have moved down from Ohio and are living with him in the apartment provided to the players during training. It's the first time they've lived outside the state of Ohio. Kory's father is a farmer there, and Nashville is the largest city he's ever lived in before. His family is conservative, and he tells me that informing his parents and grandparents during his freshman year of college that Mandy was pregnant was one of the toughest things he's ever done. "I thought I'd have to give up football, and go get a job. I remember going home when I knew I was going to have to tell them, and I just felt so bad, like I'd let them all down. My town was so small, I knew everyone would know."
In 2005, Lichtensteiger married Mandy, and since the birth of Aiden he's been a father, a husband, and a football player. The stress, financial and personal, is, at times, draining. But it also provides focus for Kory. "I don't go out like a lot of other guys and get drunk," he says, "I go home." Lichtensteiger has a buzzed head, bright blue eyes, and is battling a torn labrum in his shoulder, his second in as many years, that keeps him from benchpressing very much weight. Lichtensteiger isn't informing teams of the injury until he arrives at the combine, and chooses not to bench press 225. Aside from the torn labrum, Lichtensteiger's biggest draft obstacle is that he's purported to have short arms, a negative fact that appears on every draft evaluation of him. For instance, Pro Football Weekly's NFL Draft special issue ends their analysis, in which they rank him as the number four overall center in the country, with these six words: "Lacks great size. Has short arms."
I ask Kory how being accused of having short arms has changed his life and whether he always knew he had short arms. "Man," he says, taking a deep and mournful breath of air, "the short arms thing came out of nowhere. The first time I ever heard it was when the scouts came before my senior year and measured us. One scout told me I had short arms, and from that point on everyone is saying I have short arms. It's all over the Internet. I never thought that I had short arms before." He looks at me and extends his arms in the pool. "Do my arms look short to you?" he asks.
In addition to the pain that comes with being labeled a short-armed football player, Kory Lichtensteiger is still recovering from the final game of his football career, a 63-7 loss to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl on January 6, 2008. As soon as the guys learn about the score of the game, they all enjoy making fun of the beating. "63-7!" howls Marcus Monk, "Damn."
Everyone joins in except for his fellow Mid-American Conference stalwart, Jason Jones of Eastern Michigan. "That's okay," Jones says, "at least you made a bowl game. Man, we didn't win but 13 games in my four years."
I ask Jones, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end if they thought each year was going to be different. "Oh yeah," he says, "most definitely. We'd come into the season all hyped and sure we were going to beat those guys (he gestures at Kory to mean Bowling Green) and then we'd be 1-4 again and be like, 'Wait, how'd this happen.'"
Jones is a tall defensive end whose legs and arms are disproportional large compared to the rest of his body. "I have a short chest," Jones says. Jason Jones' (called J. Jones by everyone after a few days) grew up loving basketball in Dearborn, Michigan. He played forward and received lots of early attention from college recruiters because of his size. But one day his high school coach pulled him aside and told him, "Jason, there's lots of 6'5" basketball players, not so many football players." So encouraged, Jones took up football during his junior year, even though basketball remained his first love. As a senior, Jones averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists a game. This netted him no basketball offers, because he was, by that time, an undersized forward. Instead, when he finished his senior season, Jones had only one scholarship offer--for football at Eastern Michigan. "I took it because I didn't have anything else," he says.
Eastern Michigan recruited Jones as a tight end, but he moved to defensive end during his freshman year. By his junior and senior seasons at Eastern Michigan, Jones was a beast on the defensive line, recording 38 tackles for loss.
Kurt Hester considers him a raw but extremely athletic prospect. "Look at him run, he's a colt," Hester says one day as we time forty's. "When these guys (scouts) see how well he runs for his size he's going to shoot up the draft boards. I guarantee it. There just aren't very many guys 6-foot-5, 270 that can move as fast as he can."
Presently Jones is projected to be a fourth round draft pick. In the pool he's standing beside me cycling his legs in time to Hester's commands. "Right foot, up!" Hester calls. We drive up our right foot. "Right foot, down!" Hester calls again.
In between sets, while we rest in the pool and players approach Kory to ask him why his chest is so red, Hester takes the opportunity to discuss my book. Already the book has become a large topic of conversation during training. One guy or the other will call out, "Make sure that gets in the book, Bookman." Now Hester says, "Anything I say is fair game. If it wasn't I wouldn't say it. My old woman is going to pick this up and read it and she's going to say, why couldn't you just keep your mouth shut?"
After about 45 minutes in the pool, we're finished for the day. There's a shortage of towels and everyone battles over a single dry towel. Some of the guys have elected to train in their Under Armour underwear (yep, we're issued that too). This doesn't play very well in a suburban Tennessee pool, even if no one else is in the remote vicinity of us. While we're toweling off, a nervous pool employee walks over to Hester and says, "This is a conservative place, your guys can't train in their underwear."
"Compression shorts," says Hester.
But he nods in agreement anyway. As soon as the employee walks away, Hester turns to me, lifts his arms, and says, "(Marcus) Monk's a black dude wearing white Under Armour. Some of these old people might faint."
Shortly thereafter, Purdue wide receiver Dorien Bryant walks by. Dorien is still nursing his groin injury, and has not pushed himself very hard in the first several days of training. Now he grins at Hester and mentions having gone out the night before with me and Army safety Caleb Campbell.
Hester is furious after he leaves, "Dorien Bryant being here right now is worthless. These guys are here to work hard and get better and Dorien isn't doing s**t. For all the good he's doing he might as well not be here."
Most of the guys return from the locker room and assemble in Hester's vicinity. "Alright guys," Hester says, "here's the deal, no more compression shorts in the pool. Gotta be athletic shorts or swimsuits." With those words, half of the first week is complete.
Thursday morning begins with talk of Myspace and Facebook. Specifically how much of a danger both of these networking sites are for college athletes. Marcus Monk and Dorien Bryant lead the discussion. "We used to have these parties called Edward Fortyhands at Purdue. You had to have a forty taped to each of your hands, and have them finished before you could get them untaped. Everybody went to the parties, and there was a picture of me doing it. One day we got in trouble because Coach Tiller had a manager put all the pictures up on a slideshow, and then had us sit down and watch the pictures that they'd found of us. At the end Coach Tiller said, 'I want every single one of these pictures gone in two days or you have to answer to me.' We cleared that s**t up right fast."
Monk joins the conversation. "Same with Coach (Houston) Nutt. He walked into the front of the room with a big stack of pictures and papers and stuff and slammed it all down on the top of the table and said, "I've got stuff on all y'all. Get it cleaned up. That's why I'm not on none of them. Myspace, Facebook, none of them."
Antwan Stewart, combine trainer and former Tennessee defensive back, chimes in, "Oh man, Coach Fulmer killed us about that. One day he walked into the meeting room with the newspaper in his hand-they were doing a story about the pictures we had up -- and said, "Which one of you dumba***s -- that's the way he always started talking when someone got in trouble -- has been putting pictures up online? I want them down and I want them down now."
Aside from the perils of the online communities, another frequent topic in the first few days is the games themselves, particularly if the guys played against one another. As Peyton Hillis says, "Most of these guys were just names to me. Guys we played against. And I hated them then. But now they're pretty cool guys."
Since the guys don't really know each other there's a feeling-out period. By now, just a few days in, already talk has turned to the games the SEC guys played against one another. On this day Marcus Monk of Arkansas and Ryan Karl, linebacker from Tennessee, are going back and forth about the recent Arkansas and UT football games. Arkansas won with a dominant performance in 2006 and UT won with a dominant performance in 2007.
"Y'all whupped us last year," Ryan Karl says.
"Yeah, but y'all whupped us back this year," Marcus Monk retorts.
At this point former UT defensive back Antwan Stewart joins the conversation. "Man, before that game against Arkansas (in 2006), we had this stick that we were supposed to carry around and protect for some reason. The coaches came up with it for motivation. We took that stick serious, we protected it everywhere we went on campus, and we wouldn't let anyone get near it. Then McFadden (Arkansas running back Darren McFadden) whupped our a**. At the end of the game we got back on the bus and one of the coaches said, 'Where's that stick?'"
And DMo (UT safety Demetrice Morley) said, 'Man, McFadden done took that stick and threw it away over the fence.'"
Ryan Karl rejoins the conversation speaking to Monk. "You caught that one touchdown pass from McFadden just after a timeout. And I stood there during the timeout and listened to Coach Chavis (Tennessee defensive coordinator) tell DMo, 'No matter what, stay with your man. Monk is your man.' And then what does he do as soon as y'all hand off? He leaves you. And as soon as we got to the sideline they tried to blame me."
"I was ballin' that game," says Monk.
Conversation about past battles breaks up and we begin the morning workout. During the dynamic flex to get loose for the speed workout, Kurt Hester, regales us with stories, "Some kids want to grow up and be fireman or policemen or pilots or whatever. Me, I wanted to be a porn star. Then I wanted to be Hugh Hefner. But now I'm a speed coach. And y'all are going to be some fast motherf*****s."
As fast motherf*****s, we're focusing on the forty this morning. But our forty starts are out of standing (two-point) stances as opposed to three-point sprinting stances at the NFL Combine. In between sprints, estimating the number of women Matt Leinart has had sex with becomes the topic of conversation.
"It's a big number," says Ryan Karl.
Big Mike Oher is fascinated to learn about Leinart's current relationship with Kristen Cavallari (from MTV's Laguna Beach). Even more so, he's amazed that I know about it. "Man, Bookman knows everything. If it's in ink, he knows it," Oher says.
The deadline for Oher, a college junior, to enter the draft or return to college classes is rapidly approaching. January 16 is only a few days away. Currently Oher is having his training billed to his step-father so he can retain his eligibility if he chooses to return to Ole Miss. He has not technically signed with an agent or accepted any free services. If he did, Oher would lose his collegiate eligibility. Currently Oher is projected in the first round of the draft. But that's all contingent on the mammoth left tackle leaving school a year early. Presently, he says he's uncertain. Hester is convinced he's leaving, "He's out," Hester says. "Now we got to get him fast."
One of FanHouse's newest additions, Clay Travis is the author of Dixieland Delight and the forthcoming On Rocky Top: A Front-Row Seat to the End of an Era. For several years he wrote the ClayNation column for CBS Sportsline, worked as an editor for Deadspin.com, and practiced law, where his love for the billable hour rivaled only his love for the WNBA. He's convinced that his 40 time is much better than yours.