By Frank Cooney
After literally leaping from being an unknown player at little Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. to being an NFL prospect, wide receiver Cody Pearcy will continue his dream with the Atlanta Falcons.
Pearcy became the feel-good story leading up to this year's NFL Draft when he shocked pro football scouts in March with one of the best pro day performances on record -- ever. Still, because of his lack of big-time exposure, the 5-11, 165-pound athlete was not surprised that he was not among the 253 players selected in the draft. But as soon as the draft ended, he received offers from five teams.
"I am an Atlanta Falcon now and it will be up to me to make something out of this," Pearcy told NFLDraftScout.com. "I'm excited. I will continue to work hard and improve and just do the very best I can."
Hard work is what gave this long shot any shot at all. Last winter he got a job as a roofer while he was still carrying a full load in college. His goal was to save enough money for a trainer to get him ready for a pro day workout. So after saving enough for three weeks of personal training, he readied himself for the March 8 pro day workout on the Alabama State campus.
The results -- including the shocked expressions of pro scouts in charge -- gave Pearcy a cult following on YouTube. And it etched his name on every team's list of potential pros.
The workout included sensational numbers in the well-known events, such as 4.31 seconds in 40 yards, 44 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet, six inches in the broad jump. He also had a 20-yard split time of 2.43 seconds, a 20-yard shuttle of 3.76 seconds and did the three-cone agility drill in 6.67 seconds.
Pearcy was not among the elite athletes invited to the NFL's scouting combine in February. If he managed the same results there, he would have been the star of the event, this year or any year.
Since 2000, 4,638 players have been invited to the combine. Pearcy's 20-yard split and 20-yard shuttle times would tie for third best. His vertical jump would tie for sixth best and his 40-yard time would tie for 11th best.
"None of that matters now," Pearcy said. "That helped me get a chance and I know I still have a long ways to go. I am just grateful for the chance."