The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

May 8, 2014

NFL draft prospects consider life in the big time

— NEW YORK (AP) — Wearing diamond studs and pressing a cellphone to his ear, Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy saunters into a gift suite, compliments of Diddy, and closes his eyes as he slides into a barber chair for a trim.

He's looking serious and busy like the pro he may soon be when the NFL draft is over.

Ealy, the swag swirling around him, from luggage to Ciroc, is among dozens of prospects on the verge of the big time, leaving old lives behind and heading to the circus of media, money and a shot at stardom.

The NFL's annual draft begins Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall. Ealy is projected to go late in the first round. Does he worry about where he'll land, considering he never left his home state for college?

"Don't matter, 'cause now it's a business. You have to treat it like a business," the straight-faced Ealy said Tuesday between his visit to the Old Spice grooming station and a round of interviews at Diddy's Sean John headquarters, just a few blocks from where the draft will be held and one of his many stops during a crazy week of appearances.

Ealy wasn't much interested in the gift tables, and he shrugged off the pressure.

"I'm handling it like I've been there before and that's what I'll keep doing. That's something my high school coach told me and I never forgot it," he said.

Fellow draft prospect Sammy Watkins, a wide receiver from Clemson, picked up a Hawaiian shirt and a leather bracelet, his Beats headphones on his head as he prepared for another jump outside his comfort zone.

The Floridian gave up offers from three schools there to head for college in South Carolina, so unlike Ealy, he already knows what it feels like to live far from family and old friends.

Text Only
Sports
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee