Wake up. Talk to scouts. Practice. Talk to more scouts. Refuel. Talk to scouts again. Study. Sleep. Repeat.
That was the life for former Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup during his week-long stay in Mobile, Alabama, for the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
It was “a draining process” according to the Rams All-American, but an experience that will most definitely help his draft stock ahead of April’s NFL Draft.
Playing for the North team, Gallup was coached by the Denver Broncos and made solid connections with the staff members.
“I did pretty good. The biggest thing to figure out in the NFL is making sure you learn the playbook as fast as you can.”
Gallup admits learning a playbook can be a struggle for him and he must put in extra effort to stay ahead of the curve.
The biggest thing he took from his week at the Senior Bowl was a piece of advice from the Broncos receivers coach, Zach Azzanni.
“He told me, getting in and out of my breaks, I was a bit slow. At this level, the quarterbacks will already have the ball out of their hands and I’ll have to be faster.”
Yet Gallup clocked the second-fastest time among the crop of Senior Bowl wide receivers at 20.69 MPH.
“Looks like I’m not as slow as everyone thought I was,” Gallup said with a chuckle. “I’ve always said that your speed is different from a 40 compared to a game. I believe that with everything in me that I’m faster in game than in a 40.”
While speed is a huge factor when it comes to wideouts, Gallup’s strength was on full display.
“They said I had strong hands. A lot of wide receivers out there were catching with their body,” something Gallup says can happen to other guys when they’re nervous.
But the spotlight didn’t slow Gallup down one bit.
“I’m so confident every time I go out there. If a ball comes my way, I know I’m gonna catch it.”
With 13 wide receivers split between the North and the South, Gallup only saw the field in four series, logging a team-high three catches for 60 yards. Although he didn’t make it into the endzone, a 31-yard catch from Wyoming’s Josh Allen helped set up a score the following play.
“You gotta take every opportunity you can get. I was thrown the ball only five times and the two that I didn’t catch were thrown too far ahead of me.”
Overall, Gallup believes he was consistent during the week and made an impact on and off the field, most importantly, when he was interviewed by scouts. Gallup had a chance to speak with scouts from all 32 NFL teams. He laughed when recalling how one scout was waiting for him at breakfast, poking his head out from a curtain that was put up to give the players privacy.
The next few weeks will be crucial to Gallup’s success in the Combine, which takes place in Indianapolis February 27-March 5. Until then, Gallup will continue his training here in Colorado at Landow Performance, a Centennial-based facility.
“The goal is to show the scouts that you’ve taken what they’ve taught you and improved since the Senior Bowl.”
If there’s one thing that the small-town Georgia boy has proven during his long journey from JUCO to the biggest stage in the sports world, is that he will do whatever it takes to become the best.