Speedy Senior Hopes to Get Shot With NFL Team

Wide receiver Jeris McIntyre talks about his success as a senior and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Auburn, Ala.--Last year at this time wide receiver Jeris McIntyre was coming off another disappointing season, the third of his college career. What a difference a single season can make.

Coming out of Tampa, Fla., the son of a former star running back (Secdrick McIntyre) for Auburn, he had the ability to be a big factor for the Auburn offense. Instead through three seasons he had accumulated just 28 catches for a little more than 300 yards and one touchdown.

Deciding to make a push and not have any regrets following his final season, McIntyre dedicated himself fully to getting in the best shape of his career and came into his senior season down 15 pounds from his playing weight the year before. The results were staggering.

Down to just over 200 pounds, McIntyre suddenly became Auburn's fastest player. Always blessed with good hands, he now had the ability to take it the distance at any time. Breaking out in a big way he caught 41 passes for 621 yards and three touchdowns. All three figures led the team and may have put McIntyre on the road to the NFL.

His dreams could be realized this weekend when the 2004 NFL Draft takes place in New York City. In a class full of wide receivers, McIntyre has made a name for himself and could find his name called on day two when rounds 3-7 take place. McIntyre says that the last year, including good showings at the NFL Combine and on Pro Day, has really turned his career around and given him a shot at the next level.

"I think I did pretty well in the combine," McIntyre says. "I ran the 4.4s, but I wanted to do a little better. I came back my pro day and ran it better and had a better time. I was glad about that. You really don't play football in shorts and T-shirts, but when the scouts come around you are showing what you can do when you run, catch and move laterally. I think I did pretty well overall in that aspect of things I have done. Adding to what I did last season I think I helped myself from where I was."

McIntyre breaks a tackle after a catch against Tennessee.

Now the waiting game occurs for McIntyre and Auburn teammates Karlos Dansby, Dontarrious Thomas, Reggie Torbor, Demarco McNeil, Mark Pera and others. Hoping to hear his name called as well as the names of his friends, McIntyre says that the toughest thing now is trying to stay calm until the draft this weekend.

"It's always kind of crazy," MyIntyre says. "You don't know what's going to go on. You don't know what's going to happen. I'm just kind of anticipating it and ready to see what happens."

To help get a feel for his draft status McIntyre took two visits to NFL franchises to see them in action and meet with the brass from each. The first was a short trip to see Coach John Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The second was to Kansas City. McIntyre says that each had the feeling of being back in high school.

"I went just to talk to the people there and to walk around and see the facilities and things of that nature," McIntyre says. "There were other guys there from different colleges. It was kind of like an official visit. They take you around and you get to meet the position coaches and head coaches and other people. They talk to you and tell you about the franchise. It's just a chance to meet some of the players that are prospects and some of the older players."

After getting advice from former Auburn stars Rudi Johnson, Tim Carter, Travaris Robinson and others, McIntyre says that he talked to a number of teams about his status heading into the weekend. While he didn't get any direct feedback, he notes that he did receive some good advice on things to do before the draft.

"Teams that I have talked to they just tell me the things they like about me," McIntyre says. "They don't really give you an indication of what's going to go on. They just tell you good luck and hope for things to work out. It's the NFL Draft. It's kind of crazy and you don't really know what's going to happen.

"The feedback I have been getting is to work hard and that they like me, my size and my speed. It's just different general things about my game. They don't really pinpoint anything or give you a definite answer like we're going to pick you here or there."

For now all the pre-draft work and effort is over. All that's left is to sit back and wait for something to happen. McIntyre says that no matter what happens he'll always cherish his time at Auburn and will never be far away from coming back to the Plains to check out the program.

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