He Needed That

George arrived to Tuesday's Pro Day at Iowa State with a "grudge," just like he had after the Cyclones' first loss of 2013, which saw him notch but two tackles

For Jeremiah George, the equivalent of February's NFL Combine was Iowa State's season-opening loss to Northern Iowa.


As an undersized linebacker, George needed to run in the mid-4.60s in Indianapolis to prove to talent evaluators he had the speed necessary to offset his 5-foot-11. Instead, George stumbled to a 4.91 40-yard-dash, not even close to the top-15 among linebackers.

George arrived to Tuesday's Pro Day at Iowa State with a "grudge," just like he had after the Cyclones' first loss of 2013, which saw him notch but two tackles. The rest of the season, despite ISU's results, was fantastic for George, who finished tied for third nationally in tackles per game, at 11.08. George was hoping his Pro Day would pan out similarly.

"I tried to treat today like the rest of the season," a relieved George told reporters after his Pro Day was finished. "I was depending on myself to come out here and put on a good show and that's what I did."

On his second 40 attempt of the day, George clocked a 4.66. He improved his bench press by two repetitions, increased his vertical by over five inches and bettered his broad jump by over a foot.

I wanted to come out and show the numbers I did at the Combine weren't how my athletic ability portrays on the field," George said. "I felt really good about my vert, my broad. I feel today was productive."

Strangely enough, while George slept soundly the night before the Combine, he woke up with "tight legs," and, as he noted, when those are off, it's hard to look good in drills. Per his routine, George netflixed a House of Cards episode Monday night and readied for bed around 10:15. And then …

"I couldn't sleep at all," he said with a laugh. "I woke up at 2:53 … and I couldn't go back to bed. … I laid there, and I laid there, and I laid there."

His enhanced results in the book, George likely will sleep well tonight before getting on a plane Wednesday to go home to Florida, where he'll stay for a while — including an April 11 workout at Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers — and then return to Ames to train with Wally Burnham on linebacker-specific drills.

George watched film with a Detroit Lions coach Tuesday morning.

Although George's collegiate production is matched by few, his average measurables and testing results make it highly, highly, highly unlikely he's selected within the first 32 picks of the May 8 NFL Draft.

"I'm realistic about that," he said.

George plans on having a front-row seat to Draft Day, though, and we do mean the Kevin Costner movie that hits theaters in April.

"I saw a commercial for [it]," George said. "I want to go to it on the first day of the draft because I know I'm not gonna get picked round one. … Then sitting around on Day 2 and Day 3 I can enjoy with my family."

Going undrafted wouldn't be the worst thing for George, as it'd allow him to choose a team that runs a 3-4, in which he could play inside linebacker and not have his size be a concern. If George does get the call, though (somewhere from rounds five to seven) it'll be because his second chances — the season post-UNI, Tuesday's Pro Day — saw him come up big.

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