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DRAFT DIARIES: Randle El's hometown workout

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In the final days leading up to the NFL Draft (April 20-21 in New York), Indiana QB will share his life in his weekly Draft Diaries as he approaches the day of his dreams.

ALSO SEE:

  • : Brian DeLucia calls Randle El one of the draft's top prospects
  • : DeLucia breaks down the first round

    Hometown team would be hometown dream

    Workouts were really good last week. I met with the Bears on Sunday, which went extremely well. I was out at their complex catching and throwing the ball around, running routes, catching punts, etc. I felt real good and the coaches told me I did well, so that's a positive. The Bears ran their workout similarly to the scouting combine in Indianapolis. They started off with all the medical stuff, which I'd already done in Indy — so I didn't have to worry about much of that. If you want to run the 40-yard dash, you can. If you want to run the shuttle run, you can. I didn't do any of that, because I'm satisfied with the times that I've run. I just got myself loosened up to run routes, catch some passes and basically to have a little fun. That's what it's all about! There were quite a few local players from the area — Rocky Harvey from Illinois, Kurt Kittner. My buddy Napoleon Harris was there — he didn't work out though. Damon Henderson was there, as well as a lot of guys from Western Illinois that I didn't know. They probably had about 50 guys there overall. They had the linebackers at one end of the field at one point. They staggered each position from station to station — one position would do their medical stuff while another would be running the shuttle run, for example. They didn't do an in-depth interview with me since I had taken care of all my interviews at the combine. So it was more casual, just talking and joking with the coaches. I just talked with (Bears GM) Jerry Angelo, coach (Dick) Jauron and the receivers coach. I had already known Angelo and Jauron from meeting them in different places already, so it was more just catching up —: "So are you staying in shape?" I just want to play pro ball anywhere, but I admit it would be so great to be drafted by the Bears and play right here at home. It would be another dream come true — of course, just playing in the NFL is the main dream. I was a big-time Bears fan growing up, even back in 1985 when they won the Super Bowl. I remember a few lines of the Super Bowl Shuffle, like the main part:
    "We're not here to start no trouble. We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle!" Then the horns would come in and blow — DEE DEE!!! Haha! That was a fun team to watch. I loved Walter Payton. His heart was unreal in terms of playing hard and running hard. He never let anything or anybody get in his way. He'd keep going even if he was wrapped up in tackles — that's the same way Barry Sanders used to play. I've always looked at those two that play the game right. They just played ball and let it all hang out every game. But whatever team I go to, I'm going to do my best to help that team win the Super Bowl — the ultimate goal.

    Brotherly love

    It was a lot of fun. I took my little brother and my cousin up there so they could watch the action. That's always cool when they let you bring some people along with you. That gave me a chance to spend some time with my little brother, which was great since I haven't been around that much the last 4 1/2 years because of school. I've got two brothers. Curtis is the oldest, he'll be 24 on the 21st — the second day of the draft. He played four years at Indiana, then played some Arena Football and made the Lions for a little bit. Then my younger brother Anthony is about six years younger than me, but he's pretty mature already. We were always playing sports together when we were younger, until the age groups separated us in more formal leagues. I always tried to play with the older group, which Curtis would push me to do. I was always the best between us all, of course. Of course if you ask either of them, they'll say they were the best, haha. We competed hard against each other, but we never let it get out of hand. When we threw the ball out there, we always wanted to win and compete, but at the same time the competing only went so far because we had so much love for each other.

    Avoiding pre-draft anxiety

    I've been lifting weights more and staying away from running too much. Since the draft is coming close, I am still running but I'm avoiding a lot of other active stuff. I was playing ball a lot at one point, but I had to put that basketball down, haha! I'm trying to get some things ready for my daughter's first birthday party, which is coming up on May 10th. I hope I'm still around, but I don't know if I'll be away at some mini-camp. But if I happen to be gone, I can celebrate it when I get back in town. I'm just waiting, you know? Patience will pay off. I'm waiting on God to bless us and that's all I'm doing. I've got my tune down, and I've had to. It's down to a few days until the draft, and I've been told the draft is the longest two days in the world. I really believe I'll get drafted that first day, but now it's just a matter of where God wants me to be.

    Come back next week for Antwaan's final thoughts before the biggest weekend of his career, the NFL Draft.

  • Tagged: Bears

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