Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


April 5, 2014

NFL dreams keep league wannabes motivated

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marcus Spann was making his appointed rounds Monday, hopscotching between Anderson and Muncie in his DirecTV van. There were TV installation orders to fill.

“Back to the grind,” Spann said, smiling. “Driving around in my little minivan.”

“It’s something I enjoy, but not as much as football.”

Therein lies the delicate balancing act for Spann.

On one hand, there are bills to pay, personal responsibilities to deal with. Spann, 25 and living in Anderson, is in a relationship with Tara Akers; they met while attending Anderson University.

But football tugs. Hard.

Over the weekend, Spann was among approximately 500 pro wannabes who converged on the Indianapolis Colts’ indoor practice facility for the NFL Regional Combine. It was a forum for draft-eligible individuals who had not been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February to go through position-specific drills that were videotaped and made available to all 32 teams.

So many undoubtedly were pursuing the impossible dream.

A handful, though, have a legitimate shot at securing a spot on an NFL roster when training camps open this summer. The next step in the evaluation process is the NFL Super Regional April 12 in Detroit’s Ford Field. Approximately 240 of the most intriguing prospects from the 10 regionals earn invitations. Last year, roughly 0.3 percent of the players trying out made an NFL opening-day roster.

“This is something I truly believe in my heart I’ve always been destined to be, an NFL player,” said Spann, a productive running back at Hamilton Southeastern High School and Anderson University.

“I won’t ever stop. If it doesn’t work out this year, you’ll see me here again next year,” he told The Indianapolis Star ( ).

To describe the scene scattered across the Colts’ practice field Saturday and Sunday as a smorgasbord of football prospects doesn’t do it justice.

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