Stuckey Preparing For NFL Combine

Feb. 19, 2010

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Two-a-day workouts with running and lifting three times a week. Running, conditioning, and agility workouts twice a week. All to get ready for a workout in front of National Football League personnel when the NFL holds its annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis beginning Feb. 24.

That is the present life of former Kansas football standout Darrell Stuckey. Stuckey, a three and one-half year starter at safety at KU, has been working out with about 15 other college players in Tampa, Fla. to prepare for the biggest tryout of his football career.

After an All-Big 12 caliber career at Kansas, which concluded last fall, Stuckey has been focused on doing everything he can to make himself ready for a career in professional football.

Stuckey headed to Tampa in early January to begin his preparation. Among the players he has been working out with are Joe McNight from USC, Mike Neal and Joey Elliott from Purdue and former Oklahoma Sooners Trent Williams, Keenan Clayton and DeMarcus Granger.

He left for one week while participating in the East-West Shrine game in nearby Orlando and then quickly returned to working out.

While in Orlando taking part in the all-star week, Stuckey gained more perspective about the NFL. The players were coached by NFL coaches and spent the week practicing, meeting and interviewing with league personnel.

“I learned how intense the process really is,” Stuckey said of that week. “It was draining. If you weren’t on the field, you were in meetings and then you were in interviews with different teams.”

Stuckey played well in the game registering a game-high tying seven tackles. Since then, he has been working on improving several areas of his conditioning.

“I have worked on my speed,” Stuckey said. “I am already fast, but I have worked on moving more efficiently. My running style was not as efficient as it could have been, particularly with the arm injury I had last season. I have also been working on my upper body strength.”

He has noticed a change in those areas. “The jump in my results has been phenomenal,” he said.

Clint Bowen, his position coach at Kansas, believes Stuckey is ready for the NFL.

“Darrell is the total package from top to bottom,” Bowen said. “When you talk about him there are no real negatives. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, but nothing negative really jumps off the page with him. He is a complete person and a complete player.”

While admitting that Stuckey needs to improve his coverage skills, Bowen likes the fact that Stuckey has the ability and speed to get better in that area.

“He has natural gifts,” Bowen said. “Physically he is above average even for the NFL level. He is very strong and he looks like an NFL safety already. He has worked really hard to develop.”

Combined with his physical style of play, Bowen said Stuckey will contribute to an NFL team.

“I think he will have a very good NFL career,” Bowen said. “He is a versatile guy. In the NFL they still run the ball and he is a physical safety with good athletic ability. His versatility will help him. Being physical and being able to play in the box and then being a great special teams player, he has a chance to play a long time in that league.”

The 2010 NFL Draft will take place April 22-24.

NOTE: Stuckey and former Jayhawks Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier will take part in the Combine this year.