In collaboration with The Washington Post, Redskins wide receiver Niles Paul has been logging his experiences and emotions through the duration of the NFL lockout. Check out what he has to share about his time here at the IMG Academy.
The whole process before the NFL draft was very long and stressful. The first step was probably the most important one: figuring out where to train. This decision was particularly difficult for me because I was torn between training
at the University of Nebraska, which is what I'm used to, or leaving the state and doing something different.
I didn't want to leave because I love what strength coach James Dobson has us doing, but I almost felt like I had to because there was no way I was going to be able to focus in Lincoln, Nebraska. There were so many distractions.
So I decided to train where I would have no distractions but still feel like my abilities would be maximized. The place that I felt would do that for me was IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
When the strength coach, Jeff DiIlman, called and started talking to me, I knew that this was the place for me. Not only do they do things to get you physically ready for the combine, but they also prepare you mentally to become an NFL player.
Training at IMG Academy was a love/hate thing for me. I loved how hard we worked on a daily basis. I've never felt so in shape in my life. We worked out almost everyday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. I hated it because I felt like a child again. They put us on a diet and pretty much gave us all bed times. I ate foods I probably never would have tried in my life, but it was all for the best in the end.