I have the great pleasure of introducing a new feature here at A Sea of Blue: Former Kentucky wide receiver Dicky Lyons, Jr has agreed to provide us with updates on his efforts to make an NFL squad. It will be a "behind the scenes" look at what some athletes endure (both mentally and physically) in an effort to play professional football. Lyons is devastatingly honest. So prepare yourself for ...
3 June 2009
I know everyone must be wondering where I have been and what I have been doing. Well, I have busy, very busy. Since it has been a while since we have talked, I will start from the beginning ...
I tore two ligaments in my knee in the ('08) South Carolina game: I caught a five-yard out and was then tackled (illegally) from behind, causing my head to touch my knee ... sideways!
That isn't the worst part. The worst part came after the tackle, when the referee did not throw the flag. Which caused us to kick a field goal. South Carolina then blocked the field goal, recovered the ball, and took it 95-yards the other way for a touchdown. Inconceivable, I know.
I can remember sitting in the shower looking at my knee hanging about five inches lower than it should be, thinking, "football is over." But, that mentality quickly changed after the game when I was met by all of you, giving me words of encouragement and love. I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to get healthy, and make it to the NFL.
I quickly began rehab with Jim Madelino and Matt Summers, the head trainers for Kentucky football. I signed with XAM Sports, and was excited to start training.
Dr. Andrew, a highly-touted orthopedic surgeon called and invited me to train at his facility in Pensacola, FL. For the next three months I was working out twice-a-day, with rehab in-between, trying to get ready for Pro-day on March 11.
Five months was just not enough time for me to show the NFL scouts what I could do. So, we set up an individual Pro-day on April 3, hoping I would be ready to do everything. But, once again I was not able to perform at 100%, and failed to lure any scouts to my workout. So I video-taped what I could do, and my agent started sending the tape to NFL teams. It was now a waiting game.
Before I start talking football again, I want to let everyone know that I got married to my high school sweetheart, Mindy, on March 14. That is, and always will be, the best day of my life! Now back to football ...
NFL scouts started calling me, wanting to know how the knee was, and how to get in touch with me on draft day. But, no calls came, and it was back to the drawing board. The next day my agent talked to (NFL) teams and they wanted us to call them when I was 100% healthy for workouts.
It was all or nothing now, and I was ready for the challenge.
I received a call from Duke Rouse from Prime U Sports Training. He works with Deion Sanders and has trained Michael Crabtree and Adam "Pacman" Jones, to name a few. Duke and I are working together in New Orleans to get in the best shape of my life, so I will have no regrets when it comes to workouts for the NFL teams.
Workout example: Last week I had to run one mile ... backward! After that I had run 40 levees (or hills) in different variations, such as: hopping, backpedaling, jumping, skipping, and straight-ahead-running. Then I jogged another mile back to the facility to start position specific drills for an hour. Finally, I worked out my upper-body and did some knee strengthening.
I am sure I will have plenty more crazy workouts and I will be sure to let all of you know about them as soon as I catch my breath.
I have a workout scheduled for the 18th of June with the Buffalo Bills, and am talking to a couple of other teams about possible workouts. I will keep you posted.
On a personal note: My and wife and I are staying with my parents for the time-being, along with my two sisters, and two dogs. Although I miss Lexington, it is really nice to spend some time with my family again. But, I assure you, in the words of the Governor of California, "I'll be back," and you can count on that.
Dicky Lyons, Jr.