- For Garrett Gilkey, just being at the NFL Scouting Combine is a dream come true and an accomplishment. But he says it's only the beginning of what he expects to be a long ride in the NFL. Gilkey played at Chadron State College as a 6-foot-6, 318-pound tackle, and is projected as a guard by NFLDraftScout.com with a fifth- or sixth-round grade. He did 28 reps in the bench press at the combine Saturday. That he has made it this far is a testimony to perseverance and guts. It all traces back to being an undersized freshman at Sandwich (Ill.) High School and being the brunt of bullies.
"I was undersized and I was actually bullied and ostracized by my entire school and I was booed a few times in front of the entire school. Going into my freshman year, I had a heart operation -- very simple, but it prevented me from playing in any sports and doing anything," Gilkey said. "So, I excelled academically. With that, some of the guys -- especially on the football team and the upper cliques -- distanced (themselves) from me because I wasn't able to do the running in the summer and the workouts. I was booed twice in school. I was constantly bullied, constantly picked on. It was a very hard year.
"Really, I like to tell people that I was just the little redheaded, gingery, skinny-looking (kid). I was pear-shaped. I had these wide hips and this skinny-looking upper body. I was just a prime target for many of the cruel kids in Sandwich." - Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange
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