Terrence Cody draws Ravens' interest

OWINGS MILLS – Mount Cody remains a massive structure, but it's slowly eroding. University of Alabama burly nose guard Terrence Cody was down to 348 pounds at his Pro Day workout after tipping the scales at 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl and weighing in the neighborhood of 400 pounds when he was in junior college a few years ago.

Although Cody still confesses to an occasional weakness for his mom's sweet potato pie, he has become much more disciplined about his diet and workout regimen.

"I've been working really hard," Cody said during a telephone interview Saturday afternoon. "When I came in at 348 pounds, it shocked a lot of people and I ran a better 40-yard dash.

"Day in and day out, I'm trying to get in better shape and keep the weight off and maintain my strength. This is the best shape I've been in since high school, but this is me getting into good football shape."

The 6-foot-4 defensive lineman is scheduled to visit the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets and the San Diego Chargers. He's regarded as the prototype run-stuffer for the 3-4 defense.

Because of concerns about his conditioning and stamina, there has been talk in NFL circles that Cody could go later in the first round.

"I'll be happy to get drafted, but I'm shooting for the top 10 or top 15 picks," Cody said. "I'm really the only true nose guard in the draft this year. I'm thinking first round, somewhere very high."

Playing directly behind Cody, Rolando McClain won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. Now, McClain is poised to join Cody in the NFL and is projected toward the middle of the first round.

With the two-time All-American selection occupying blockers, McClain was left free to flow to the football.

"I feel like I'm that perfect 3-4 player," Cody said. "I took up those blocks for Rolando and we both did really good this season. He was running free and getting involved. After the first play of the game, I knew if they were going to run away from me.

"They're not going to try to run the ball right me, so they run outside to try to tear me out. Or they pass it to try to keep me off the field. Sooner or later, they're going to have to try their luck against me. So, I just stay patient."

Cody's Pro Day was attended by every NFL team since the Crimson Tide feature several talented draft prospects.

It was attended by Jets coach Rex Ryan, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Carolina Panthers coach John Fox.

Cody ran the 40-yard dash in 5.62 and 5.64 seconds, down from a 5.73 at the NFL scouting combine. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times, posting a 7-9 broad jump and a 22-inch vertical leap.

He's a football player, not a decathlete. In two seasons at Alabama, he recorded 52 tackles, 10 ½ for losses, two blocked kicks and one sack.

It looks like Cody's stock is on the rise after drawing criticism for his conditioning at the Senior Bowl.

"I've been enjoying the draft process, it's been treating me good," said Cody, who has been working out at API in Pensacola, Fla., along with Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worilds and former Alabama teammates Mike Johnson and Roy Upchurch. "The No. 1 priority for me is to get my weight down. I showed a lot of discipline and work ethic by losing the weight.

"Now, I have to keep it off and continue to get into even better shape. I think 345 to 350 would be a good weight for me to play at. I can move exceptionally well at that weight and I'll be a lot healthier in the long run."

NOTE: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason's two-year, $8 million contract has now been signed and officially processed by the NFL league office. It includes $3.5 million in the first year of the deal.

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