Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.
Evans’s fifth entry covers his second return to Gainesville, FL during the offseason, the Pro Day workout on Tuesday and what his plans are for the next three weeks as he continues to workout and meet with teams.
I came back up to Gainesville late last week and the first thing I did was settle in to my place and meet up with a massage therapist to get my hamstring rubbed down. It’s just a strain. It’s something I felt during the combine. It’s kind of nagging, but it feels alright. Once I get to top speed, it is sometimes hard to maintain without it giving out. But I’m feeling better each day and we have a phenomenal training staff here at Florida so I know they’ll get me back to 100 percent in no time.
Over the weekend I also worked out a bit, did a few starts and warmed up, nothing too big because the Pro Day was in a couple of days. So I basically just worked on my flexibility and made sure I was good to go. I also met with San Francisco on Monday and had a great talk with them.
A lot of people noticed how I now have a yellow stripe in my hair. I got that done two days ago just to do something a bit different. I don’t plan to have it long, but I wanted to have it for Pro Day because I figured it would definitely help me stand out on the field.
As far as Pro Day goes, I was pretty comfortable the whole time. Any time you come back to your home field, The Swamp, there’s always that comfort you have being around your teammates and seeing the coaching staff you’ve dealt with for the last few years. I did not feel nervous; however, you still want to go out there and perform well in front of the head coaches, general managers and scouts. It was a pretty good day to get out there and run around, and I felt like all went well.
We were all concerned a bit when we first got out there saw it was raining because you don’t want to run on a wet field if you can help it. We try not to use excuses of course, but to be honest, the field was wet. The balls were even wet sometimes. We managed to overcome the obstacle and all performed well.
I have not gotten any official times back, but I know when I was out there a few people told me my 40-yard dash was between 4.45 and 4.53 seconds. It’s hard to tell because everybody else probably got different times. There were 40 people out there but if my time clocked in around there, then I’m definitely happy with it. I also improved on my vertical jump. I went from 34” at the combine to 36.5” on Pro Day. We did that indoors before heading out to the field.
Jacksonville pulled me to the side during Pro Day, and I spoke with some of the people from Green Bay after the position drills were over. I’m actually waiting for my agent to call me back [Wednesday] and let me know what other visits are set up over the next two weeks. I should know later on [Wednesday or Thursday] what is scheduled. What I do know is a lot of teams seem to be interested, and I’m excited about that for sure. I’m not sure if teams are going to work me out in Gainesville or have me fly out to them but either way I’m ready to continue the process.
Speaking to the scouts, they noticed while watching my film that I got a lot better throughout the season. They asked what motivated me to continue being successful in my last year because a lot of times they see players that start out well but regress throughout the year. They said they liked how I maintained a high level of play and remained consistent throughout the season. They also liked how I made a physical presence on the back end, could play up in the box and was around the ball a lot.
Being out there on Tuesday, it was like seeing your family again. To get back out there and see everybody that went to the combine, some who didn’t, and even seeing some of the younger players come out there to support us. That’s pretty much how we were brought up being Gators. It’s not only just being a teammate, it’s being a family member to each other, being there when you’re needed.
Whenever you got your brother on your side pushing you and motivating you to do well – to go out there and compete and do your best – it’s great motivation. That’s something that strengthens you internally, makes you stronger to go out there and do what you do best. It helped out a lot and it was a really fun experience. I enjoyed everything about it.
It was a great deal getting to see Coach [Will] Muschamp, D.J. Durkin and my defensive backs coach T-Rob [Travaris Robinson]. Seeing those guys out there, reminiscing was nice. It also makes them happy to see us take the techniques they taught us and apply them at the combine and workouts.
There were some former Gators out there, too, and I got a chance to joke around with them a bit. The guys whose brains I have been picking were not there for the most part. Joe Haden and I are cool. Sometimes Ahmad Black and I speak. Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Spikes, sometimes I speak to those guys and ask them questions about the transition and what it was like when they went to the combine and visits and workouts. They are just honest, telling me what it is and what to expect. They told me to be myself and be nothing more than who I am and it will all work out.
For the rest of the week, I’m going to start working out with Coach [Jeff] Dilman and his staff, lifting weights, saying in shape, doing some bike, getting my hamstring treated. I have not worked out with Dillman yet, but I’m pretty sure the workout will be modified a bit now that we’re going to another level. It probably won’t be the exact same workouts the Gators are doing now for spring practice.
The plan right now, aside from the visits, is for me to remain in Gainesville for another month and probably leave the Sunday after the spring game. I will definitely be back with another update before then, and I’ll be watching closely at the spring game so the young guys better show out.