April 17, 2008

Draft Day Duck: Cameron Colvin

Anyone who's met Cameron Colvin knows he's gotten this far by finding a way to succeed regardless of the obstacles. This is a guy who lost both of his parents at an early age, was raised by his godfather, and lost losing his best friend Terrance Kelly two days before leaving for Oregon. That's enough to slow down anyone. Not Colvin.

He arrived four years ago, as part of the most hyped group of recruits the Ducks had ever known. Colvin was coveted by USC, Michigan, and Oregon, and he chose the Ducks to play in Oregon's offense and go to college with his friends.

Up and down his career has gone but never his attitude. Playing behind future NFL receiver Demetrius Williams, Colvin caught 14 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns his freshman year. His sophomore year saw him snag 22 passes for 332 yards and three scores. All while trying to overcome injuries and changes in offensive coordinators. Then during his junior year, a nagging hamstring injury slowed Colvin down a lot. He missed six games and finished with just 18 receptions for 121 yards. When would his breakout come? When would he fulfill his potential? The answer came last year.

In just two games last year he caught 15 balls for 210 yards and two scores. He was coming of age, and everyone could see it. And then tragedy happened again. Colvin caught a ball against Washington State, planted, went to turn on the turf at Autzen Stadium, and broke his ankle. His collegiate career ended on that very play. He's spent the last 5 months rehabilitating the ankle and getting into shape to tryout for NFL teams. He's also still working toward a political science degree to get the most out of school as well.

Colvin says Demetrius Williams and high school teammate Maurice Jones-Drew have been helpful as he figures out how to answer questions and prepare for tryouts. He didn't go to the NFL combine and sat during the first workout for scouts at Autzen. But did attend to watch, meet scouts and take some notes. Two days later he put on a show for scouts along with former Ducks James Finley and Victor Filipe.

How dedicated is he? He's been flying back and forth to Florida to train with Olympic Gold medalist Dennis Mitchell. If there's something that can be done to quickly stabilize his ankle and show scouts what he can do, he's doing it. He's recently been flying out on Friday, works out Saturday and Sunday and flies home to get back in time for classes. Colvin has also cut his body-fat index in half by eating primarily chicken and vegetables. At 6' 2", 205 pounds he's in tremendous shape. Working out in the mornings with Brady Leaf, and catching passes in the afternoon from Dennis Dixon.

The Chicago Bears came to watch him work out. And he'll attend the San Francisco 49'ers local combine on April 18th. Where will he be drafted? He probably won't. NFLDraftCountdown.com ranks him as the 61st wide receiver available this year. A ridiculously low number if you've followed his talent. But until he shows his ankle is healthy, it's probably not that far off. Colvin's going to get invited to a few NFL camps and he's going to get his shot. Given everything he's already overcome, it's hard to imagine him doing anything but succeeding.

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