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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Gronkowski rocks pro day, looks ahead to NFL”

To say the last 12 months of Rob Gronkowski’s life have been a rollercoaster ride would be an understatement. The junior entered the 2009 season as a likely All-American and a surefire first-round NFL Draft pick, until a back injury suffered during summer workouts sidelined him for an entire year and put his NFL future in question.

But after months of speculation, the doubts about Gronkowski went out the window last Saturday after he turned in an impressive pro day.

The tight end ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, had a 33 ½-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump and finished his three-cone drill in 7.18 seconds.

“”I felt great going into it,”” Gronkowski said. “”The night before it, I felt a little nervous and I couldn’t fall asleep right away, but I ended up getting a good night’s sleep and in the morning I felt good. I think the pro day went pretty well overall.””

The pro day was particularly important for Gronkowski after he chose to only bench press at the NFL Combine back in February.

“”It was a really important day,”” Gronkowski added. “”I’ve been training for a couple months now knowing that (the pro day) was going to be a big day for me. I went out there and performed well.””

The strong showing should help Gronkowski’s draft stock, which could mean a first-round selection in April.

The Daily Wildcat spoke to Gronkowski shortly after his pro day about:

His plans between now and the draft:

I’m out here in Arizona right now training with the strength coach and I’m going to go visit some teams. I have about five to six visits lined up in the next two weeks.

How he compares to other tight ends in the draft:

I believe I’m right up at the top with the other tight ends. I don’t really compare myself to other tight ends. I did my best (at the pro day) and showed what I had, now I’ll let the (general managers) and the teams figure out who’s the best, but I believe I’m right up there with anyone.

NFL tight ends that he compares to:

I really don’t compare myself to anyone in the NFL, but I follow some guys. I like the way Tony Gonzalez plays and I like the intensity that Jeremy Shockey brings to the table.

Where he would be had he played his junior season:

I wonder sometimes, but I try not to look down that path. I definitely wonder sometimes, though. It could’ve been worse, it could’ve been better, but it is what it is and I’m making the best of it.

If he is happy with his decision to go pro:

I definitely am. Going to the NFL is a dream come true.

His agent Drew Rosenhaus:

He’s a hardworking guy that’s really good at his job.

His brother, Chris Gronkowski, and his NFL future:

He’s been doing great. He timed really well at the pro day and if he doesn’t get drafted he’ll definitely get some free agent contracts.

The rumor that he has spinal stenosis:

I have no idea where it came from and it isn’t true. My back is 100 percent.

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