Garrard drops a few notches after Senior Bowl

ECU's Senior Quarterback David Garrard got a return trip to Mobile, Alabama on Saturday to play in the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles stadium. Unfortunately, the outcome was not any better than the last time as the South squad trounced the North team 41-26.

That is right, players from NORTH CAROLINA were on the North team. I guess we are now dreaded, (gulp) Yankees.

Garrard's play in this showcase of possible future NFL talent was not that All-star. A fumble and 1 interception (one was called back on a roughing the passer call, way after the ball was released) may have done some harm to his stock as far as the NFL scouts were concerned. Garrard went 6-for-9 for 49 yards and the aforementioned INT. Garrard's did have a good day on the ground as he was the leading rusher for the game with 6 carries for 39 yards.

ESPN'S Mel Kiper, Jr said that Garrard may not even be drafted and would have to sign on as a free agent. I do not think that will be the case. Before Saturday I thought Garrard would go in the 3rd round, now I think it may be late 4th or early 5th.

East Carolina QB David Garrard (9) fumbles as he is sacked by UAB DB Bryan Thomas (46) Saturday, Jan. 26, 2002 at Ladd Peeble Stadium during the Senior Bowl. Photo by G.M. Andrews of the Mobile Register

David's journey over the next few years may resemble another former ECU signal-caller's journey, Jeff Blake. Jeff was picked up by the New York Jets where he lanquished for two years only playing in three games. When Bruce Coslet became the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, he knew that Blake had the ability to play in the NFL. He just hadn't had the chance yet.

Blake finally got his chance and in November of '94 he was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Month. The starting QB position was his.

Will David Garrard's professional career take the same path?? No one knows, but one thing I feel is certain. He will be on someone's NFL roster come September.

After arriving back in NC from Mobile, I read where many people were criticizing the people and the City of Mobile. Many of you arrived on Tuesday and left early Thursday morning. Barely having time to really get to know the people who live there.

Two years ago I arrived on Saturday before the game and did not leave until Thursday. This year, I arrived on Sunday and left on Thursday. Both times I was a journalist in a strange city and knew no one. I now feel that I am always welcome in Mobile.

Two years ago, I was shooting film and needed a way to get my film processed after the game. The folks at the Mobile Register were nice enough to develop my film which allowed me to post my pictures on this site.

This year I was shooting digital but I still stopped by to visit my good friends at the Mobile Register. They treated me like I was a member of their family. Many news staffs think of out of town media as a nuisance, but not these people. I can easily say that they are the nicest staff that I have ever had the HONOR of working with.

The photos that you see with this story are courtesy of the Register photo staff. Did they have to send these pictures to me? No. But they were willing to help out a friend.

I would like to thank Mary, Glenn, JD, Michelle, Chip and everyone else for their generosity. They are the "PRO" in PROFESSIONAL.

Thanks guys.

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