Staying in Shape, Working Hard and Staying Hungry

first_img“It was incredible,” Saubert said. “They had supplements already made for you so there wasn’t a whole lot you had to do, which made it really easy.” But there is one part of training that was, and still is, challenging for Saubert; eating between 5,000 and 7,000 calories a day. Saubert returned to Drake after the Combine to continue his training with Ryan Martin, Drake’s strength and conditioning coach, for his Pro-Day at Iowa State. He was able to take the things he learned from Exos and adjust them to train better at Drake. One major difference, he had to cook all his meals, which proved to be a little challenging. At Exos, meals were built into servings. A typical meal would consist of five servings of fuel or grains, which is usually rice, pasta or other types of carbs, three servings of protein, three servings of vegetables and healthy fats. “I lose weight super fast so I have to eat tons of food,” Saubert said. “It’s difficult because sometimes I’m just sitting there and I can’t eat anymore but I know I have to.” During the week between practice and talking with scouts, Saubert and the rest of the players had the opportunity to visit a Shrine hospital and spend time with children suffering from different afflictions. The kids were able to show off their skills in basketball, dancing and catch while learning new things from their football friends. “You feel like a super hero,” Saubert said. “They look up to you and are so excited for you to be there.” It’s not every day a college football player has the opportunity to participate and train for the NFL draft. But for former Bulldog Eric Saubert, this dream became a reality. As a part of the East-West Shrine game, participants have a whole week of practice and interviews with scouts that went late into the night. “It’s a stressful situation, but at the end of the day you have to tell yourself that you would much rather be there than not,” Saubert said. “It’s an incredible opportunity you have to capitalize on.” “The interviews are pretty standard,” Saubert said. “Most of the time, they are trying to figure out who you are as a person. They ask where you are from, what your family is like and how you were raised. Then they will talk a little football with you to see how you learn and understand the game and how much you retain from playing in college. For me, they asked me about the different types of defenses I would be facing and how I understand them.” There were 33 scouts in attendance that were primarily there for Saubert. He set a new personal best with a 35-inch vertical jump and clocked a 4.65-second 40-yard dash in addition to a 7.29 in the three-cone drill. Saubert also caught 34 of the 35 passes thrown his way. When it came down to it, the decision was between Drake and Valparaiso. “Drake obviously has a better football program and a much better school in my opinion,” Saubert said. “So I chose it for the academics but also a chance to play better football.” Before the NFL Combine, Saubert participated in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21. “It was a unique opportunity for me to come together and practice with a bunch of different guys from different schools,” Saubert said. “A lot of the guys are high-level players, so it was good for me to get that type of exposure.” In addition to physical testing, players were again interviewed by NFL head coaches, general managers and scouts. In addition to being interviewed a number of times before, Saubert says the business school at Drake played a key role in making interviews feel like second nature. “Drake’s business school prepared me a lot for the interview process,” Saubert said. “The interviews (with NFL personnel) are pretty similar to the ones we went through during training at Drake. The skills you need are similar in the NFL portion, it’s just different subject matter.” “The Combine was another one of those stressful things, but I was blessed to be there,” Saubert said. “It was more stressful for me because I pulled my hamstring a couple of weeks before the Combine, but I was able to participate in a few of the drills.” Saubert began playing football his freshman year of high school after many years of playing baseball. When it came to his senior year, he says there weren’t a whole lot of schools looking to recruit him. But that changed when Drake head coach Rick Fox set up a time to meet with him and see him play. “I’m fortunate to say Drake discovered me,” Saubert said. Not every interview is as standard as this. Sometimes, the interviewer may teach a player some of their offense and then quiz them on it. Or, after running through questions, the interviewer might ask the player to recite the first question he asked. Fortunately, Saubert’s interviews were straightforward and none of his interviews tried to play any sort of mind game. With the NFL Draft taking place this week, April 27-29, physical training isn’t the only thing Saubert is focusing on. “My attitude is to stay hungry,” Saubert said. “Applying that same work ethic and attitude got me to this point and I am trying to keep that up through this process. You have to be in good shape and ready to go, So that’s what I’ve been trying to do; keep in shape, keep working hard and staying hungry.”Print Friendly Version Following the East-West Shrine Game came the NFL Combine, where Saubert continued to impress football personnel both on and off the field. He measured in at 6-5 and 253 pounds. Among the tight ends, he was tied for second on the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 22 times. He also ranked among the upper half of tight ends with a recorded 33-inch vertical jump and a 121-inch broad jump. On-field position drills proved to be no problem, catching every ball thrown his way. After graduating in December of 2016 with a degree in actuarial science, Saubert had little time off before traveling to Pensacola, Fla., to train at EXOS, a draft and training facility, from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. For two months, he was on a vigorous daily schedule that began with breakfast and a training session of speed drills or lifting in the morning. After lunch, there was a little bit of a break until it was time for treatments and another session of speed drills or lifting in the afternoon. The day ended at around 4:30 p.m. and then they would do it all over again the next day.last_img

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