Local Sports

Thursday, February 14, 2013

NFL: Fostoria's Hyde preparing to strut his talents at Scouting Combine
By SCOTT COTTOS

for the courier

FOSTORIA -- Micah Hyde is on the precipice of having a job he's always wanted.

By September, the Fostoria High School graduate could find himself playing in the NFL.

"It's been a dream of mine for a long time," he said in a phone interview this week.

Fresh off a senior season at the University of Iowa that finished with him being named the Big Ten defensive back of the year, Hyde is preparing this week to travel to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine.

The 6-foot, 196-pound Hyde and other defensive backs who have been invited are scheduled for a variety of activities on Monday, ranging from performing drills to interviewing with team executives and coaches to parading around in their underwear for the team bigwigs to see their physiques.

It's one step toward the league draft, which is set for April 25-27. Draftees and free agents will then begin attending minicamps in May.

Having gained a reputation as a cornerback who is solid both in coverage and in playing the run, Hyde is projected by many so-called experts as being chosen in the middle to late rounds.

The opportunity at hand is certainly exciting for Hyde, but not to the point of joining some family members in being out-and-out nervous.

"It's just another process I've got to get through," he said after having completed a workout on the Iowa campus in Iowa City. "It's tough. But I've been playing football all my life. I'm not going to go to the combine and be nervous. The worst thing you can do is be nervous."

Hyde already got a good taste of combine-like activities when he played in the recent East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. Scouts flooded the grounds for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practices in preparation for the contest, which, Hyde said, resulted in a number of players "freaking out."

Hyde said confidence overrides nerves in his case.

"I'm capable of doing it. Why be nervous about it?," he said.

He also had the opportunity to sell himself to NFL team representatives while in Florida.

"I told them I'm a versatile player," said Hyde, who played cornerback, safety and special teams -- ranging from gunner on punt coverage to returning punts. "Whatever they throw at me, I'm ready."

Hyde said that physically, a cornerback's speed, footwork and hip action come under the most scrutiny from scouts. He's not known for his speed -- his recorded 40-yard-dash speeds are in the 4.4-second range -- but he said he's also not been clocked in a 40 in a few years.

Hyde is confident in his speed and the overall ability he's shown.

"Hopefully, I run a fast time," he said. "But even if I don't, I feel I can run down anybody. Really, it's all about angles."

Hyde spent a week at the TEST Football Academy in San Diego before the East-West Shrine Game, but he's mainly been in Iowa City working out, eating in a healthy manner, studying film of NFL cornerbacks -- often the New York Jets' Darelle Revis, who is widely regarded as the league's best -- and finishing his classwork.

After completing 12 credit hours this semester, Hyde plans to have completed his degree in recreation and sports business in four years.

While many potential NFL players leave school after their final college season to prepare for the draft, Hyde said he preferred to continue using the "world class" facilities in Iowa City for his workouts and to graduate on time.

"It's a plus to finish school," he said. "A lot of guys (who leave prior to graduating) say they will, but most of them don't.

"I know what the results may be," he said on the possibility of not landing an NFL job. "If it works out, it works out. If it's not the path for me, I'll fall back on something else."


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