Hundreds of eyes will scrutinize everything a young prospect does — from the way he drops back to pass and how many times he bench-presses 225 pounds to how he performs on the Wonderlic aptitude test and his answers to questions such as "do you have anyone not related to you who you refer to as uncle?"
That's a lot of pressure.
Chris Rainey, the former Lakeland High School and Florida Gator running back and receiver, and more than 300 other prospects will have to endure this scrutiny when the combine begins today in Indianapolis.
But Rainey is not really worried about what the scouts of NFL teams throw at him. He already knows most teams will focus on his lack of size (he's 5 feet 8 inches and 180 pounds) and his aggravated stalking arrest in 2010 (he accepted deferred prosecution on a reduced charge of misdemeanor stalking, and charges were dropped after completion of a pre-trial intervention program).
Instead, Rainey wants to wow them with speed.
"I want to have a big time in the 40," Rainey said in between workouts last week at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Disney. "I really want to be fast."
Rainey wants to run the 40-yard dash in less than 4.2 seconds. If he does, he will run the fastest 40 since the combine went to electronic timing in 1999.
To date, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson and former Eastern Kentucky receiver Rondel Melendez have both run the 40 in 4.24 seconds. It is reported that Bo Jackson ran a hand-timed 4.12 when he was coming out of Auburn.
"I want to show the world what I can do," Rainey said. "I already know I'm small. You know how everyone looks at small people. So 4.1 is my goal. That's a high goal but I always set high goals. I think I can get it."
Rainey has always been talented.
He rushed for more than 7,000 yards and 90 touchdowns at Lakeland. The "Gatornaught'' was a 2011 First-Team All-SEC performer as an All-Purpose player after leading Florida in rushing, receiving and punt return yardage as a fifth-year senior.
It was reported that the Vikings have interviewed Florida running back Chris Rainey during the NFL Scouting Combine. Rainey, known for his blistering speed and burst more than anything else, could be the effective third-down back that they haven't had
Finally, Florida's do-it-all back Chris Rainey displayed elite straight-line speed running he 4.3 range. He's a guy who can play both in the slot and in the backfield, and proved he's got dynamic open field speed and initial burst . Rainey could end up
Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey (1) tries to run past Ohio State Buckeyes safety CJ Barnett (4) during the second half of the Gator Bowl at EverBank Field. (MATT STAMEY | THE GAINESVILLE SUN) By Rick Brown For many prospects, their efforts at
Florida's Chris Rainey, Oregon's LaMichael James and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman tied for second at 4.45. Five receivers had the fastest times: Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, Stanford's Chris Owusu and Miami's Travis Benjamin at 4.36, and Illinois'
Florida running back Chris Rainey wasn't shy about his expectations for his 40-yard dash Sunday. "I'm going for the 4.1. I'm going for the big one," he said. The fastest 40 time at the Combine since 2000 was Trindon Holliday's 4.21 in 2010.
Josina Anderson from ESPN reported today via Twitter that Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey had his cast removed from his left ankle today in Indianapolis and that the doctors are making him wear a boot and use his crutches for a little while longer. Pouncey, who missed the Steelers AFC Wild Card Game against the Denver Broncos because of his injury, had surgery on that left ankle in mid January. He was forced to also miss the Pro Bowl as a result.
Pouncey originally hurt the ankle back in the 2010 AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets and it was serious enough to keep him out of the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers . He re-injured the same left ankle against the Cleveland Browns back in week 13 last season and it forced him to miss the next two games as a result. He returned to play in the season finale against the Browns, but aggravated the injury yet again in the week of practice leading up to the game against the Broncos.
Pouncey and his twin brother Mike Pouncey are reportedly at the NFL combine this week in Indianapolis to support former University of Florida teammate Chris Rainey , who lived with them while they all attended Lakeland High School together back in Florida.