It's been called âThe World's Toughest Job Interview.â For six days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 24-March 2), college football's best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts conducting all of their due diligence before the NFL Draft. To prepare, nearly two dozen prospects have traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of Physical, Mental, Communication, Nutrition, Vision and psychological training with IMG Performance Institute specialists and on-field training with some of the game's top football coaches.
On December 11th,2010 Nick Bellore wrapped up his final day at Central Michigan University. By the 12th, he was already beginning NFL Combine training with IMG Academy, leaving only once to spend a day with his family during Christmas. The ex-Chippewa is a legend at his alma-mater. During his tenure, Bellore set the freshman record for tackles in a season (102), was a 3-time First Team All-MAC selection, had a consecutive starts streak of 51 games to begin his career, and a myriad of other accomplishments. Nick recently sat down with us to talk about his training, his greatest accomplishments, and sacking ex-teammate Dan LeFevour.
Nick Bellore on...
...choosing IMG Academy: After I signed with my agent he gave me every opportunity to choose where I wanted to train. I really tried to educate myself on all of the different options and my final choice was IMG. I am glad I did because the training at IMG Academy is amazing. I came in and instantly clicked with the strength coach Jeff Dillman. He is my kind of guy; real intense, really enjoys what he does. Then there is Speed coach Loren Seagrave who breaks down and simplifies everything for you. Coming here, I knew that I would have a lot of attention in terms of my needs and what I had to improve on, which made all the difference to me. The facilities are great but it really is about the staff of experts and what you are doing every day.
...rooming with Brandon Fusco: Living with Brandon is great. He's a really good guy. I have lived with offensive linemen before so coming in I already knew they are a different breed, but Brandon is a one of a kind guy. As a matter of fact, the whole group we have down here right now is great. There isn't a bad apple in the bunch and we are always spending time together. The camaraderie factor is something we all enjoy.
...passing up other offers for CMU: Wisconsin and Kansas State may have offered some scholarship opportunities or a walk on spot, but I ended up getting an offer my junior year of high school from Central Michigan University and it was my sole offer at the time. I committed about a week after receiving the letter and I knew it was the place I wanted to be. I graduated early from high school and got to CMU for spring ball which was as an unbelievable experience. Even though I was recruited by Brian Kelly at the time, he had left just for Cincinnati as I was coming in, but the rest of the staff just made the difference. Not to mention the facilities at CMU were unbelievable.
...of all the accolades, his favorite: During my time at CMU, my biggest accomplishment was the second MAC Championship that we had won my junior year. We were 12-2 and a Top 25 team in the country that season. Head Coach Butch Jones left the team before the bowl game for the University of Cincinnati job. We were able to come together for that one last game that pushed us over the proverbial hump. We beat Troy in overtime in the GMAC bowl which put us in the final Top 25 ranking for the year. That season we also beat Michigan St and some other good teams, so that is memorable for me.
...biggest accomplishment away from football: Graduating from college with a BSB in Finance. Getting that done with is awesome because they can never take that away from me no matter what. I never have to worry about going back to school for it if I were to of left early.
...sacking a QB of his choice: My old teammate and current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, Dan LeFevour. Him and I played together at CMU and you know the quarterbacks always wear the red jersey in practice so you can't touch them. In my time practicing against him I may have ran into him or accidently tapped him on the helmet when he was throwing and gotten yelled at for it, and that's about the extent of our contact. It would be fun if he was out there starting some day and I got the chance to take him down just once.
...what he has been focusing on for the NFL Combine: I have always been pretty good at the agility drills the 5-10-5 and the L Column. It correlates well with linebacker play so I think that is why it's a strength of mine. Obviously, I have been working hard on my 40 for the combine. That's the event that gets all of the attention. I am just really looking forward to getting out there, doing the best that I can and seeing what happens.