The conditions haven’t been anywhere close to optimal for under the radar football players with pro aspirations to train and attract the attention of NFL teams.
But former IU wide receiver Nick Westbrook will get his chance to make a roster.
The Lake Mary, Fla. product signed an undrafted free agent deal late Saturday night with the Tennessee Titans.
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) April 26, 2020
The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Westbrook had 42 receptions for 572 yards and five touchdowns in 2019. He served as a team captain alongside guard Simon Stepaniak, who was chosen in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the Green Bay Packers.
Westbrook wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine and instead went to Seattle to train for IU’s Pro Day. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Westbrook out of Seattle, and ultimately the Pro Day was canceled.
“I had a lot to prove, and I felt I could have proven it on Pro Day, but you just roll with it because these are unprecedented times,” Westbrook said.
Instead, he had to improvise.
“I recorded all the different drills I needed to do,” he says. “My agent compiled it all together and sent it out to all the teams.”
Now the last minute creativity, along with a highly product career at Indiana, have paid off.
Westbrook had a strong true sophomore campaign in 2016, catching 54 passes for 995 yards and six touchdowns. The following year however, Westbrook suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first play of the 2017 season.
He finished his career with 144 receptions for 2,226 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ranks sixth in catches, seventh in yardage and touchdowns, and he is tied for seventh in 100‐yard receiving games (6) in the IU record book.
Prior to playing in the 2020 East‐West Shrine Bowl, Westbrook became the seventh Hoosier to reach 125 receptions and 2,000 yards. The four‐time Academic All‐Big Ten honoree appeared in a program‐record 52 games (36 starts).
Nothing about Westbrook’s path to the Titans went as expected, but he maintained a positive attitude throughout.
“It’s kind of fun to say I’m going through this (the challenges presented by the pandemic). Hopefully everything works out,” he said.
To this point, everything has.
— Greg Williams (@GregWilliams28) April 19, 2020
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