Considering that he's a former walk-on tight end whose only scholarship offer out of high school was a partial to Arkansas Tech, Razorback guard Mitch Petrus certainly is taking advantage of his opportunity to impress scouts this week.
Petrus, who had been moved to fullback for the 2006 season before switching back to guard, tied the Combine record with 45 repetitions of 225 pounds this afternoon.
Petrus told me his previous career high had been 35 repetitions, which he had hit "three or four weeks ago." He characterized his sudden explosion to 45 repetitions as a mixture of adrenaline and the can-do attitude that he'd learned as a walk-on.
"It's not luck, I can tell you that," Petrus said... "Not being the biggest, baddest guy on the field, I had to be the hardest working guy on the field. It is what got me through the 45 today. I didn't wake up this morning feeling like a totally different person. I'm not a freak of nature. I weighed 230 in high school. I weigh 310 now. I do whatever it takes. You reap what you sow."
Perhaps I'm a pessimist, but the eye-popping jump in his bench press and comment that he'd do "whatever it takes" led me to question just how valid Petrus' bench press total was. The last player to hit this mark was Ohio State's Mike Kudla in 2006. Kudla was not drafted.
So, I asked Petrus the question some of my fellow pessimists were thinking...
Petrus liked to scan the room as he answered previous questions, but he looked me straight in the eyes and smiled confidently with this answer.
"I'm clean. I just took a drug test (laughing). We'll soon find out."