Straight Shooter

During his career at WVU, Brian King could always be counted on to provide honest and direct observations, no matter the topic. That hasn't changed since completing his outstanding career as a Mountaineer, as discovered when they caught up with King as he awaits the NFL Draft.

King, who worked out at WVU's Pro Day with about 15-20 other players, earlier this month, provided a peek at the long process the NFL uses in conducting their scouting days at colleges across the country.

"There were about 20-22 NFL teams there," King said of the lengthy day, which began at 10:00 a.m. and didn't wrap up until nearly seven hours later. "I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, so it seemed like a long time. There was some sitting around, because it took some time to run through all the kids. They weren't all graduating seniors, either – Phil Braxton and Cooper Rego were there and worked out.

"I worked out in a group with Lance Frazier and Grant Wiley. We started in the weight room, and got measured. That included height, weight, arm span and hand span."

Hand span? What's that all about?

"They measure your hand from the tip of your pinky to the thumb," King explained. "Why do they do that? They just want to make sure that they've covered everything, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It sure doesn't determine if you can jump up and grab a ball at the highest point."

After the measurements, speed and agility testing began. The shorter drills, such as the 40-yard dash and the 20-yard shuttle, along with the vertical jump and bench press, were conducted in the weight room.

King, who went into the day with a "nothing to lose" attitude, opened a few eyes once the speed work began.

"The scouts' pre-reports had me as a 4.6 in the 40, so I felt like I could open some eyes. I knew I could run a 4.4 all day long."

WVU's all-time leader in pass breakups did just that, burning off a 4.46 in the 40, which was "about what I expected", the Maryland native said.

King backed up that time with a burning 6.69 in the three-cone drill, where a time of anything under seven seconds is very good. That drill, along with a longer shuttle run, was conducted in the Indoor Practice Facility.

As was the case with other Mountaineers at Pro Day, feedback from the scouts and few coaches on hand was minimal. In fact, King had to depend on his "support group" to get his times for him.

"My Dad, my brother, a family friend and Mike Hoover and Tom Kocher from HealthWorks (a Morgantown training facility) were there, and they'd look over the shoulders of the scouts to get my times," King admitted. "If they hadn't been there, I wouldn't have known what I did."

Although the feedback on the day from the NFL teams in attendance was nonexistent, King did get some encouragment from another person familiar to Mountaineer fans. Former defensive back Charles Fisher, now scouting for the Seattle Seahawks, gave King a heads up on some of the work to be done. King also talked with Chuck Pagano, the secondary coach of the Cleveland Browns.

In the days following the workout, King's agent, Steve Hayes (who represents a number of former WVU athletes such as Mike Logan, Amos Zereoue and Canute Curtis), received followup calls from teams such as the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans. Those teams, among others, apparently liked the speed numbers put up by King, and could be interested in King, who set WVU's single-season pass deflection record with 21, as a late-round pick.

With workouts behind him, King took off for a spring break vacation with his family.

"It was a good thing to just relax and get away," King admitted. "I had been working really hard to get ready for Pro Day."

Like many of his teammates, King won't stress out on draft day. Although he's been asked by several teams for contact information so they can get in touch with him on draft weekend, King isn't going to be glued to the television.

"I'll probably be at home in Maryland," King said. "I know I'm not a first- or second- or third-round guy. I don't want to be hanging on the TV watching for my name. The hard work is done now, so I'll just see how it plays out. Everyone aims on getting drafted, but if I don't, I think I will get a free agent offer. Worst case, I will still have the chance to get in a camp, and maybe have a choice of where I go."

If, down the road, the NFL doesn't work out, King doesn't plan on playing in minor leagues or Canada. That decision isn't based on any arrogance on his part. He simply wants to move ahead with his life outside of football if the top rung of the game doesn't pan out.

"If the NFL doesn't work out, I just don't think I'm going to chase my dreams in the minor leagues," King expalined honestly. "I'm anxious to get some direction. Is it the NFL? If so, great. But if not, then I want to get a job and start my career in something else."

Spoken, as always, in the same direct and straightforward style, King's comments reflect the assured, confident person he has become, and one that will be missed, both on the field and in the Mountaineer locker room.

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