Former Florida State QB Drew Weatherford had hoped to be in Indianapolis this week, showing off his abilities and possibilities at the NFL scouting combine.
Instead, he's a world away — Disney's Wide World of Sports to be precise — working through the disappointment and hoping to capitalize on the chance he will have to impress.
"I was hoping I'd squeeze in there, but it's obviously difficult to invite a kid who didn't play (much) his senior year," he said.
The former Land O'Lakes star, a three-year starter for the Seminoles until he lost his job before the 2008 season, appeared in four games last season, including a cameo in the Champs Sports Bowl win. For the year, he was 10-of-23 for 156 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Those numbers don't exactly scream NFL draft pick. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper recently said as much.
"I've been forgotten, and for good reason," Weatherford, 23, said. "If I were an outsider looking in, I would think it was for a lack of ability, and I probably wouldn't spend much time looking into my situation because I wouldn't think it would be worth it."
To him, he just needs to jog some memories.
He had his share of stellar performances, including in the inaugural ACC Championship Game upset of Virginia Tech as a redshirt freshman in 2005, the Emerald Bowl win against UCLA in 2006 and the win at No. 2 Boston College in late 2007. He finished with 7,565 career passing yards, 15th in ACC history.
Although his yards and touchdowns decreased each year (as did his interceptions), here's something you may not have realized: He played behind just one lineman who was drafted or signed by the NFL as a free agent — T Mario Henderson, a third-round pick by Oakland in 2007.
Is Weatherford FSU's next Brad Johnson, who lost his job midway through his junior season, played sparingly as a senior but made it in the NFL? That's why Weatherford has been training with renowned coach Tom Shaw as he points to FSU's Pro Day on March 16.
"He really is a good athlete; he's smart and has a great work ethic,'' Shaw said. "I really believe in him.''
"I know I can play at the next level," Weatherford said. "I know it without a doubt. All I'm looking for is an opportunity in a camp."
What's in a number? Women's basketball coach Sue Semrau isn't making any noise about her team's No. 11 ranking in the latest Associated Press poll, the highest FSU has reached.
"We don't talk about it. We don't talk about standings. We don't talk about the RPI," she said. "We have to keep our mind on our business and our business is improving our team today."
That may sound like a cliche, but for the ACC-leading Seminoles (21-5, 9-1), who are at Clemson (13-13, 2-9) tonight, it has been a necessity. They can't and don't get too comfortable.
That's how a team can follow a huge win against No. 3 Texas A&M with five more W's, including in OT against new No. 3 Duke. That's how it can follow a buzzer-beating loss to Maryland with three straight wins.
"The word that they hang on is 'solid,' " Semrau said of her players. "If you want to be solid, you have to have total concentration and you have to have a spirit of togetherness. The kids have really bought into that."
Honors galore: Seniors Lydia Willemse (chemistry major) and Lesley van Miert (sociology) and sophomore Matt Leeder (psychology) and senior Jason Lakritz (exercise science) were named to the women's and men's All-ACC academic cross country teams.
Brian Landman can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3347.