March 6, 2013
Each week, AuburnTigers.com will take a look at a different personality from Auburn Athletics. This blog will take a look at the various perspectives of student-athletes, coaches and administrators. This week's entry is written by former Auburn football student-athlete Travante Stallworth. After Tuesday's Pro Day, the wide receiver talks about his continuing journey to earn a spot on a professional football roster. Enjoy his insights and join us again for another edition next week.
I guess I was about three years old when I first knew I wanted to be a football player. I don't think there was ever a time that football wasn't one of my goals. My cousin would always say when we were kids that he was going to the NBA and I was going to the NFL. The NBA didn't quite work out for him, but for me, I'm still on that journey.
What has helped me get to this point is Auburn - I'm so glad this was my choice. Not only did my family get to see me play often, but everyone at Auburn did a tremendous job with all of us in explaining what we would need to succeed in life. The years flew by, but they have been so much fun, and the experiences with my teammates have been the highlights. I will never forget being part of a national championship team, but it's my teammates that stand out. And Pro Day was maybe the last time I will be competing with some of them.
Pro Day was a very important opportunity for me. I did not have the chance to attend a combine or an all-star game, so this was my chance to open some eyes. I knew the keys for me would be to run a great 40, run good routes and catch the ball every time it came to me. But the 40 was the main thing. That's how I could show everybody that I can run, even if I'm short, even if I've had some injuries in the past. I'm pretty pleased with what I did (an unofficial time of 4.48 seconds).
After the season was over, I took a few weeks to heal and rest up and then I began my training. I found an agent, and right about that time, Coach (Ryan) Russell came to campus. So I made arrangements to stay in school and train with him. That's been great. He has done everything to make sure we were knowledgeable and prepared about what we would have to do in front of the scouts. So I've been working out and taking 14 hours of classes. I graduate in May (with a degree in public administration), so no matter what happens, it's a win-win for me.
From here on, it's wait and be ready. I talked to my agent yesterday after the workout, and he had already talked to some teams that were here scouting. He will continue to see what teams are interested and we'll go from there, with more workouts, or whatever they request.
Since I'm still in school, I'll probably be here in Auburn for draft weekend (April 25-27). I'm really interested to see where some of our guys are taken, and I will be watching to see what players each team takes and what their team needs might be. Then I hope the phone will ring and I will be invited to an NFL camp.
I believe I can contribute at the next level. I think my strengths are as a very hard worker, an intelligent football player and someone who is fast at learning plays and offensive sets. I believe I can go out and make plays. I just have to stay ready if the opportunity comes.