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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Fluker on Combine: "Every Single Thing You Do Matters"
Over the next week, Indianapolis will become the football nexus of the world.
The NFL’s top decision makers from all 32 teams will be on hand to check out the crop of top prospects for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. More than 300 NFL hopefuls will be put through the ringer, getting official measurements while testing their skills on the field and meeting with teams for formal interviews.
D.J. Fluker is quite familiar with the process. The Chargers right tackle is just one year removed from going through the grueling process, and he recently reflected back on what those long, nerve-wracking days were like.
“It was a little bit crazy, but I enjoyed it,” Fluker said. “It was very demanding though. It makes you a little crazy because everybody is watching you. You have all these interviews with all the teams and they want you to answer the questions and see how you deal under pressure. You have every eye on you. You need to make sure you do everything correct because everybody is watching you. They have to make important decisions so they are trying to get to know you.”
Fluker was only 21 years old when he went to the combine, and he admits parts of the interviews were difficult.
“One of the toughest things to talk about was where I came from,” he said. “They also asked how I got started in the game and why I love football. And that’s the main reason why they want to talk to you. They want to see how much you love the game. I gave them every bit of information I could about myself and why I love the game, why I play it and what my motivation is. For me, that was important to get across.”
Still, Fluker says what made him most nervous were the workouts on the field.
“On the field was what I worried about the most,” he said. “But I was confident. They want to see you perform. They want to see what you can do with everybody watching you. Do you keep your poise? I felt a little pressure, but if you go out there with confidence, everything will be ok. They are going to encourage you, but they want to see how football smart you are.”
So what advice would the recent seasoned vet of the combine give to over 300 prospects about to be put under the microscope?
“I would tell them that every single thing you do matters,” Fluker said. “When you walk in that room everything matters. One thing I would say is not to wear sweats in the meetings. Go in there with a suit and tie. Be business-like because anybody could go in there with sweats on, but if you go in there with a suit and tie on, that is important because the first thing they notice is how you dress. That shows what kind of person you are. At the end of the day what they want to know is if you as an individual and a player can help the team.”