Trey Burton's combine diary: The final day gauntlet
FEB 24, 2014 10:45a ET
Trey Burton had watched the NFL Combine over the years and made it a goal to one day compete in the event.
The former Gator checked it from his list over the weekend as one of more than 300 players invited to Indianapolis to test their skills in front of NFL coaches and scouts.
Burton, a versatile weapon on offense and special teams the past four seasons at Florida, was invited as a tight end.
During his stay in Indy, Burton checked in with GatorZone.com for a daily diary entry.
Burton returned home to Tampa late Saturday night and spent Sunday resting with his family. He will turn his attention next to Pro Day at Florida on March 17, another opportunity to impress NFL personnel prior to April's draft.
Here is Burton's account of his final day in Indianapolis:
We actually got to sleep in a little bit. I woke up around 6:30, 7 o'clock and headed over to my trainer's room to get stretched and go over last-minute preparations for running my 40 and all the drills that I was going to do.
I met with my agent and went over a couple more things with him and just got really good, positive vibes from all of them. They told me that I put in all the work these past couple of months and just go out there and run, this is what I do. I'm just thankful for their support. They have been there with me this whole time.
Regardless of my times or how I jumped or if I caught every ball, regardless of the outcome of all that, I still knew that my family and my community back home -- the 941, Venice, all my coaches in high school that I played under -- they're all still happy for me, that I was able to be at the combine.
It was really good to know there was no extra pressure on me and I didn't put too much pressure on me. I knew that as soon as I was done with all the events I was going to go home to my wife and my daughter, and they were going to be happy as can be. They don't care. That's extremely important for me, not to have extra pressure from the outside, nothing but love and support from them.
So I came back (to my hotel) after meeting them and ate breakfast right around 8 and then I went upstairs and got all my gear ready in my hotel room, packed everything up and did my last-minute checks and preparations.
We met downstairs as a tight end group at 9 o'clock and went to a video room and watched film on all the drills that we were going to do. I think we were going to be the only group that was going to be able to do that because all the other groups were so big. There were 22 guys in the tight end group. It was kind of a smaller group compared to the offensive linemen.
We went over film and then we walked over and did our head shots in the gear that we were going to wear. They gave us a new shirt to wear for the combine with a heart monitor on the front. Then we sat and waited for the first offensive line group to get ready because I think they wanted only two groups on the field at the same time. There were three groups, one tight end and two offensive linemen groups.
We waited for the first group to get done and then we went out there and started to do our warmups with one of the strength coaches, I want to say from the Redskins. We did the warm-up and then we went through flexibility testing. One of the drills was to see if you could lay on your back and roll over onto your neck area with your feet straight together, touching the ground, and spread them apart, and then touch them together and roll back down like you're laying flat on the ground. I guess that tests your flexibility in your back and to see if your vertebra are loose enough -- I don't know exactly what all it tested.
There were a couple of more tests we did: a groin test, a hamstring test, a shoulder test. And then we got right into it. We did broad jump first, which I was a little disappointed in my distance. I kind of started off pretty bad with that but I didn't want that to affect the rest of my day.
And then we went to the high jump, and this is something we'll have to talk about. We all jumped and everyone's numbers were a little low. Some of the guys kind of complained and asked our group leader to check the measurements and make sure the high jumps were correct. While they did that we went and ran the 40 and the other stuff.
When we came back in from all our drills, they said, 'yeah, you guys are right, the high jump is three inches off.' So basically we're supposed to add three inches to your jump, but they didn't want to do that because they already put the height we jumped on TV. So they told us we had to jump again and if we didn't jump again, then they'll say we didn't jump (on official report).
At the very end, my legs were shot after all those drills. We're running deep balls, deep wheels, corners and all these type of deep routes, and we're running two 40s, so I was in no position to jump again so I ended up not jumping. My first jump was really good, it was 31 inches (28 plus 3 with corrected figures), but it's not going to show up.
After that, we got ready for our 40. We did our own warm-ups. (Trainers) Jason (Riley) and Yo (Murphy) gave me a card to do our basic warm-up that we've been doing for two months. I went over that as quickly as I could. I think we had 30 minutes. I did two or three starts and then I was the second guy up. I tried to keep my sweat suit on as much as I could. It was pretty cold in there. It wasn't like stupid cold or anything like that, but it was cold enough that if you took your sweat suit off and sat for a minute or two, you wouldn't be ready to run at your top level.
On the first run, I stumbled. I kicked myself in the back of the leg and I also dragged both of my feet. I was kind of disappointed in my time, but I knew that my second one I was going to get after it. I asked one of the guys who were there and he told me time by mistake -- they are not supposed to tell you. It was a 4.59, and I was happy to be in the 4.5s but I knew I could run faster. I got up the second time and I just went through my head over some things that I've been doing this week to calm me and keep myself level.
I sang a few songs in my head and when I was getting ready to get up to the line the second time, I knew I was going to run fast. I got up there and ended up running a 4.5 flat. I was still a little disappointed. I know for sure I can be in the 4.4s. Looking at it now, I'm comparing pretty similar to a lot of the wide receivers.
I'm pretty excited for Pro Day (at UF) and hopefully will have a faster time. Hopefully I can run in the 4.4s because I believe I truly can. And then we went to do position drills, my favorite part of the whole thing because I love playing football, I love to compete.
I felt like I did really well in all those events. The gauntlet was fun. It was really challenging but it was definitely fun to go out there and do that. It's something you can't really simulate at practice or prepare for because you don't have five or six guys who can throw like those guys are throwing out there.
After that, we went to some of the drills where we ran arrow routes, wheel routes and corner routes -- all the basic drills that tight ends usually run. Everything was good with that. And then we went to the 5-10-5 and L-Cone (agility) drills.
I guess I was told wrong by my trainers and I think a lot of other people thought the same thing too: we only got to run it one time. I thought we were supposed to be able to run L-Cone and 5-10-5 (agility drills) two times, which is what everybody practiced. I felt like I didn't do as well as I wanted to. I felt like if I had gotten to do it a second time I would have had faster times.
Usually the first time, everyone looks at it like kind of a run-through even though you are going hard. You try to understand what's going on and get a feel for the turf and all that kind of stuff.
So we did that and after we came in from our shuttles, they wanted everybody to re-jump (in the vertical jump). I told you that story and I chose not to re-jump. We were done after that.
I then went to see my trainers, who were working out Bruce Ellington, the wide receiver from South Carolina, and Benny Fowler, the kid from Michigan State. They were working out and I just talked to them about what to expect. I talked to my trainers and my agent, talked to them about my performance and all that.
I then went back to my room and packed up all my bags. I had so much gear that I thought there was no way I was going to be able to bring all this back home. I thought I was going to have to ship it. Luckily, I brought a huge, huge bag to start out with. I had to sit on it and lay on it and smush everything down. Luckily, I only had to check one bag. I carried on two. The second carry-on was as full as possible.
I got everything back home. When I got back home my wife came and picked me up and we went out to eat. I was glad to see her and spend some time with her, and now I'm actually going to pick my daughter up and happy to see her.
It's kind of like a bowl game. You practice a couple of weeks ahead of time for the bowl game but you can never simulate the game. And then once you go to that game, you feel like a truck hit you. That's kind of my feeling.
My flights home were from Indianapolis to Chicago, and then Chicago to Tampa. And Chicago was full of stuff everywhere. I had never been to Chicago so flying into the city was beautiful. The sun was still setting.
I had an awesome time. It was one of the best things that I've had an opportunity to do. I'm extremely thankful to be invited to come in and work out for coaches and scouts. You know me -- I'm a guy who is thankful for a lot of things.
I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to just be there. And regardless of the outcome, I had so much support from the outside. I don't really care what anyone says on Twitter. I don't read any of the stories that people put up, but I know once I got home I had two beautiful girls smiling at me and happy because I went there and gave it my all.
My mom and youngest brother are coming up (Sunday) to see me. I'm so thankful for all the support I've gotten. I haven't gotten too much feedback yet. I'm OK with (how I did). I can't change it. I'm hungry to continue to get better and to get faster for Pro Day.
I'm going to still be in Tampa and get more one-on-one training. I'll try to go see some of my younger brother's basketball games and be involved in some of what he is doing. I'm going to be doing some signings (in Gainesville) before Pro Day and doing some camps in Tampa and Venice. I'm excited to be involved in the community a little more.
I want to show love to the people who have been there to support me through my journey.