Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Plant High grads hope to impress NFL at combine

INDIANAPOLIS — QB Aaron Murray and RB James Wilder, teammates at Tampa's Plant High, shared the stage during media interviews at the scouting combine Friday.

Murray, who tore his left ACL Nov. 23 against Kentucky, is unable to participate in workouts but is meeting with teams. He said he will be ready to go for Georgia's pro day April 16.

"I'm pretty much doing everything already, just not at full speed," Murray said. "I'll continue to build up, get more flexible every day."

Murray measured at 6 feet, ? inch — short by NFL standards. But he started 52 games at Georgia, passing for 13,166 yards and 121 touchdowns, and he said his height was never an issue.

"Two or three years ago, we had the biggest offensive line in the world," Murray said. "We averaged 6-4, 6-5 and 320 pounds. I threw for 35 or 36 touchdowns that year. As a quarterback, you're not looking over offensive linemen. You're throwing through passing lanes."

Wilder declared for the draft after his junior season at Florida State, during which he rushed for 563 yards and eight touchdowns.

"It was something where if you feel like you're ready, mentally and physically, you have to take the next step," Wilder said. "I felt like I was ready."

Wider's father, James, the Bucs' all-time rushing leader, has joked with his son about being drafted by Tampa Bay.

"He messes around with me all the time," the younger Wilder said. "He says, 'Hey, man, if you go to the Bucs, don't try to snap all of my records.' "

MANZIEL ADVICE: Johnny Manziel has received plenty of draft advice. But the Texas A&M QB didn't expect to be in touch with Patriots QB Tom Brady.

"He gave me a little joke: If I teach him how to run like I can, he'll do anything in the world for me," Manziel said. "So it was pretty funny hearing it from him."

Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected]

 
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