While many of his Missouri Tiger teammates preparing for the NFL draft are training all over the country, former MU wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been working out in Columbia.
"Jeremy wanted to stay here and workout instead of going to Arizona, Florida," head coach Gary Pinkel said. "You gravitate where you feel comfortable."
Maclin will participate in Missouri's pro day on March 19th . Scouts from dozens of NFL teams will head to Columbia to see the raw abilities of Maclin, TE Chase Coffman and DT Ziggy Hood, and all the other former Tigers with their own eyes.
Maclin, who said he has been running the 40 yard dash in 4.3 seconds, is preparing more for strength and agility tests rather than actual football skills, like catching the football.
The Tigers had their first practice of 2009 on Tuesday, and Maclin attended, saying, "I just want to come out here and support these guys."
With that being said, he does not regret his decision to leave for the NFL after two seasons at Missouri.
"I made the decision to leave, and I'm happy with my decision," Maclin said.
An All-American wide receiver, Maclin is projected to be a surefire first round pick, and may even be taken in the first ten picks of the draft. But he isn't getting hung up on predictions for draft day, and he doesn't he have any butterflies in his stomach.
"I'm not nervous about it. It's going to be a big day, the most important day of my life till now, but it's out of your control," Maclin said. "You can't get worked up about it. It all comes down to what teams like you. You can look at the mock-drafts, all that stuff, but it really comes down to what team wants you at that particular time."
With their 2-14 record last season, the St. Louis Rams own the second pick in the draft. They could choose Maclin, a graduate of Kirkwood High School, or trade down for more picks and select him later in the first round.
With like likely defection of mainstay WR Torry Holt, the Rams could certainly use Maclin. But then again, a team with two wins can use help just about everywhere.
Maclin would enjoy playing in the city where he grew up.
"It'd be cool, play in my home city," Maclin said. "Stranger things have happened on draft day."
Michael Bittner is a journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia