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Road to the Draft - Looking Back With Todd Gurley

By Van Adams, Player Engagement Insider

Top NFL draft prospects will be in attendance at the Draft on Thursday, April 28th, eagerly waiting for the moment when their names are called, and their lives changed forever. For many, being selected in the first round of the Draft will be a dream come true

Last year, the Los Angeles (then St. Louis) Rams used their first round selection to draft Todd Gurley, a formidable running back from the University of Georgia.  In 2015, Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games earning him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Growing up in North Carolina the youngest of four siblings, Gurley initially saw football as a way to have fun with his older brothers. A three-sport student athlete at Tarboro High School (football, basketball, track), football would soon become his passion. As interest began to grow in his athletic abilities, the reality set in that professional football could very possibly be in his future. A fan of LSU growing up, Gurley had his sights set on playing college football in the SEC. He ultimately decided take his talents to Georgia where he had a remarkable collegiate career.

One year ago, Gurley sat in the seat where this year’s top draft prospects will be seated, excited and waiting in anticipation on hearing their names called – a moment that will not soon be forgotten. We caught up with Gurley to see what he’s been up to and to get his memories of that life-changing moment.

Draft day memories.

It was a cool experience. I didn't know where I was going but I hoped to go in the top 20 or 30. So when I got called at number 10, it was like a dream come true. Being called up to walk out and meet the Commissioner was like a dream come true.  My family was at the Draft waiting with me; I hugged everybody and went out on the stage. I didn't get to see them for a few hours after that but everybody was happy…once in a lifetime moment.

Words of encouragement for this year’s Draft class.

Keep working hard and enjoy the whole draft process. Now that they’ve reached this point and their dream has come true, it’s time to start working on another goal.

Keys to success.

My teammates and coaches helping me to be a pro; my O-line, I couldn't do it with out those guys blocking.

On what inspires him.

My family and wanting to keep getting better.

On playing sports.

I started playing football when I was about five or six years old because I wanted to be outside with my older brothers, it was fun. I played basketball from eighth grade through high school and ran track. (In 2011, Gurley competed in the 100m hurdles with Team USA in Europe).

On how he spends his time in the off-season.

Just try to relax and take it easy.

Best advice.

To remain humble and keep working hard.

Favorite food.

Macaroni and cheese.

Favorite TV show.

The Simpsons.



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