Fun day watching pros work

Published 12:00am Thursday, March 14, 2013

TUSCALOOSA — Dripping with sweat, former Alabama offensive linemen D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack ran through their position drills at their first pro day on Wednesday.

What a sight it was to see these huge behemoths strutting their stuff for the NFL scouts present.

Under the incandescent lights of Alabama’s new indoor practice facility, which measures more than 148 yards in length, Fluker and Warmack, along with a hand full of other Crimson Tide stand outs, participated in drills, where foot work and other skills were put to the test.

Getting up early Wednesday morning, I really didn’t know what to expect, just where I was supposed to be and at what time.

Driving up Highway 82 West from Montgomery, I let my mind wonder about what was about to unfold in front of my eyes.

With the many thoughts that ran through my head, I began to get anxious because one of our own — Nico Johnson — was getting the opportunity to show what he can do in front of the scouts as well.

From my vantage point, I thought the Andalusia native did quite well, despite dropping a couple passes on a few pass coverage drills.

Johnson thought otherwise.

I was surprised when he said he “could’ve done better,” but I remembered what he had said early in the post-pro day interview.

“I’m a perfectionist,” he said.

Then it clicked for me.

Nico is a perfectionist, and his perfectionism has stared at me right in the face for the last five years.

Thinking back on Nico’s senior year at Andalusia, I realize he made the plays he had to for the Bulldogs on the gridiron. He did what he was supposed to do.

Even during his stint as a linebacker at Alabama, Johnson was a hard worker. Even former players and teammates lauded his work ethic when it came to things like getting better at practice or just studying film.

Four years and three BCS National Championship rings later, Johnson is still working to display a perfect game or drill, like at pro day.

When the day was said and done, Johnson said in the end that he was thankful for the opportunity to display his talents in front of NFL scouts.

I just wanted to say thank you Nico for giving me the chance to see you perform at a high level, and to see Fluker and Warmack strut their stuff, too.

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