|Will Burfict go undrafted? (US PRESSWIRE)|
Before the 2011 college football season, there were plenty of scouts and NFL personnel types who considered Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict a first-round pick. But the Pac-12 Preseason Player of the Year had an indifferent junior campaign punctuated by an absolutely dreadful combine that included blaming his college coaches for his performance. He's gone from one of the top 32 players available to, in all probability, not hearing his named called during the the three-day NFL Draft that starts Thursday.
"You took a talented football player -- when he started college there, he was a highly recruited kid -- and he slowly regressed into this player that started to get cheap fouls and cheap penalties, and a player who had a horrible Combine workout," an AFC scouting coordinator told Sports Illustrated's Dennis Dillon recently. "Not only the workout but the interview portion of the Combine. This is a guy who probably went from a second-round pick to no telling where he's going to fall."
Burfict, who ran a 4.93 40 at the combine and was wholly unimpressive in team interviews, joined WNST in Baltimore to talk about the pre-draft process. When asked what NFL clubs should know about him he offered this: "Just hope that they know I'm a soft-spoken guy."
Burfict continued (via SportsRadioInterviews.com): "The guy I am on the field, I'm not the same guy off the field. When I'm off the field, I'm more sitting down, more of a chill guy, don't do too much partying, and when I'm on the field I'm just angrier, don't like to lose, have a passion for the game and love to hit. Me and off the field are just two different things and people have it mixed up. They think I'm the same people off the field and it's totally different.”
As for the chance that he may not hear his name called this weekend, Burfict has a backup plan.
"I'm truly blessed just to be in the position that I'm in right now," he said. "If I don't get drafted then I will have to go back to school, but I love football so much that I won't give up on football. But I will go back to school and finish up my schooling and stuff like that and probably go somewhere else like Arena football or something but hopefully I make it to the NFL.”
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