De Braga tests pro waters once more
April 2, 2014
Call him the next Rudy Ruettiger but quit is a four-letter word nonexistant in Trevor de Braga's vocabulary.
The 2008 Fallon grad completed his second combine when he ventured to the Indianapolis Colts' training facility and went up against about 500 hopeful athletes with dreams of playing on football's biggest stage.
"This combine, I felt went better than last time," said de Braga, who participated in a regional combine last month in Los Angeles.
De Braga, who trained with Tyler Simper of Next Level Performance for the first combine, went solo for the second but used Simper's regime as he increased his weight lifting and performed skill-specific training at NAS Fallon's Warrior Fitness and artificial turf football field.
"There were 27 guys in my group of defensive backs alone that I did all my events with," de Braga said, "and I was in the top three with my broad jump and top five when it came to the vertical jump. So it went great."
De Braga noticed differences in his weights, jumps and running when it came to the second combine. He said his broad jump increased by 3 inches but his vertical jump stayed the same. He expects his running times to be posted by Thursday.
Stephen Austin, director of regional combines, was floored with the number of participants at the Indianapolis regional combine.
"As far as talent, I would have liked to have seen a little bit more. But it's not so much quantity, it's quality," Austin told NFL.com. "The players that I liked, and I'm pretty sure my fellow scouts will agree with me, are going to be real quality guys that will go to the Super Regional Combine."
De Braga, like the rest of the field, faces tough odds as Austin said that only about 5 percent of the participants will be good enough to make it to the NFL. But other venues, like the arena leagues, are good starting points as history as shown, most notably with Kurt Warner, who won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams.
"Ninety-nine percent of these guys are college football players. And if you look around, all you see are football players," Austin added. "We all know that maybe 5 percent have the ability to compete at the NFL level. We're looking for that 5 percent. And a lot of these players, they don't know if they have that. They come here (to the combine), they'll find that out and they can find by comparison that, 'Wow, there is a level above where I'm at.'"
According to NFL.com, regional combine participants are tested and reviewed by experienced NFL scouting personnel. Participants' measurements and combine results, including videos of their drills, are compiled and entered into a database accessible to all 32 NFL clubs.
Sunday's combine was the final stop of the NFL regional schedule as the top football players will be invited back to the Super Regional Combine on April 12-13 at Ford Field in Detroit.
"I just got to play the waiting game to see my times and if anyone is interested," de Braga said.