Trevor de Braga isn’t letting his dream of playing in the NFL die anytime soon.
The 2007 Fallon grad and former Colorado Mesa defensive back will test his skills next month when he travels to Southern California to participate in one of the NFL’s regional combines. De Braga, who graduated last spring and coached the defensive backs for the Greenwave in the fall, will compete in various drills on Feb. 22 at Lebard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Los Angeles.
“It has always been a goal of mine to play professional football, so I’m taking the steps and opportunities to make that dream come true,” said de Braga, who has been training with fellow Fallon grad Tyler Simper, who has also been working with New York Jets linebacker Josh Mauga.
After testing the waters last season by trying out for the Canadian Football League, de Braga figures he has nothing to lose with a final attempt of becoming only the third Fallon grad in the last 15 years to play on football’s biggest stage. Harvey Dahl (1999) completed his third season with the Rams, while Mauga (2005) was on injured reserve with the Jets.
“I wanted to do the same last year but I kind of put it off and ended up doing some late Canadian Football League tryouts but never got a call,” he said. “I figured I’m only a year out of a pretty successful senior session at Colorado Mesa University and if they’re not interested, all they can say is no, but at least I tried instead of sitting around wondering.”
Like the main combine held early next month in Indianapolis, the regional combines were created in 2012 to help supplement the NFL’s National Scouting Combine. By performing well in six different drills along with position-specific tests during the regional, de Braga can advance to the Super Regional Combine in Detroit, just a few weeks before the NFL Draft.
For de Braga, he has nothing to lose as many players have benefited from the supplemental combine.
Since its inception, 50 players were able to earn a spot with an NFL team while 30 were on active rosters. Ten were on the opening day roster to begin the 2013 season.
“NFL regional combines are getting deeper every year in terms of viable talent for the NFL,” Indianapolis Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson said in a press release last month. “We have found some intriguing players that were previously not on our radar by attending these combines. With the 90-man roster limit, the NFL Regional Combines give us a chance to find legitimate developmental talent to add to the back end of our roster outside of the NFL Draft and free agency.”
According to the NFL’s regional combine website, participants will be tested and reviewed by experienced NFL scouting personnel with measurements and combine results being entered into an accessible database for all 32 NFL teams. Drills include a 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and shuttle run. Select individuals will be invited to the Super Regional Combine at Ford Field on April 12-13 and showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts and player personnel staff. It will be televised on the NFL Network and on NFL.com.
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