Grossman couldn't keep ignoring appetite for NFLPosted: Friday February 21, 2003 7:29 PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Rex Grossman didn't finish his Florida career the way he wanted.
There were still records to set, awards to win and rings to earn. Still, he couldn't pass up a second chance for an NFL career.
Grossman returned to Indiana, his home state, Friday for the NFL's annual combine less than two months after announcing he would leave Florida a year early so he could pursue his NFL dream.
"From a competitive standpoint, I wanted to come back and achieve all the goals I hadn't yet," he said. "But I was too excited to play in the NFL."
Grossman considered leaving Florida a year ago but decided to return in an effort to pursue both a national championship and the Heisman Trophy.
A subpar season in the Gators' first year without coach Steve Spurrier eliminated both opportunities. Florida did not win the Southeastern Conference title, and Grossman, the Heisman runner-up as a sophomore, wasn't even invited back as a finalist.
Even with the unfulfilled hopes, though, Grossman knew he couldn't stay.
"I thought about it last year and I didn't think I was ready," he said. "This year I was ready and I couldn't pass it up twice."
And because Grossman believes he has nothing to hide during this week's thorough examination by 32 NFL teams, he won't.
On Friday, he measured in at 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, slightly taller than some people expected.
"It was no surprise to me," he joked. "I've been 6-1 for a while now. I know how tall I am."
Grossman also was one of the few top players who announced he would work out Sunday with the quarterbacks. Most projected first-rounders are instructed not to work out by their agents.
But Grossman, who grew up in Bloomington, has spent the last few weeks grooming his skills with former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg in Tampa. While Grossman won't participate in the 40-yard dash, he will throw in the RCA Dome, where he played in two state championship games with Bloomington North.
"I want to throw, that's my specialty," Grossman said. "That what's I do. That's I will do in the NFL."
Grossman said DeBerg helped make his release a little quicker, his footwork a little better and his study habits a little stronger.
Grossman is just hoping that scouts hold him in high enough regard he can now achieve his next goal -- being taken early in the first round.
"You've always got to prove yourself," he said. "Every time you step on the field, you have to prove yourself."