By TOM LEA
MADISON — Marcus Cromartie wasn’t happy about being left off the list of participants in last month’s NFL Combine, but he didn’t let it sink his overtly confident attitude.
Instead, he found a couple of running mates, one of which experienced a similar fate to Cromartie when he was trying to break into the league.
“A few guys reached out to me,” Cromartie said. “Definitely training with the guys I was able to train with, Ike Taylor and Fabian Washington, they’re corners that have been there. Ike Taylor was telling me he didn’t get invited to the combine and he ran a 4.19 at his pro day.
“Then he got drafted in the third round. He just told me to go out there with full confidence and do the best I can.”
Apparently Cromartie took that to heart. Of the six former Badgers that ran the 40-yard dash, Cromartie’s 4.35-second 40-yard dash was the fastest.
“I ran a 4.40 and 4.35,” Cromartie said. “I was satisfied. My goal was to go in there and run a low- 4.3. A 4.35, I think I can work with that.”
JOHNSON RUNS WELL
Shelton Johnson, like Cromartie, wasn’t invited to last month’s NFL combine. Though he said he didn’t necessarily use that as motivation, he did say the extra time to prepare for UW’s pro timing day helped.
“I think I ran a 4.40 flat on the 40,” Johnson said. “But I’m not real sure about the rest of my numbers. I was happy with that. I wanted a low 4.4 and if I could creep into the high 4.3’s that would have been good for me.
“But I was happy with the results.”
Johnson has been training in Madison since he returned from UW’s 20-14 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. He said he enjoyed the experience inside the McClain Center and definitely enjoyed the opportunity to compete with his former teammates one final time.
He also said he wasn’t sure when he would be drafted, if at all, but that he doesn’t necessarily mind. He just wants his chance.
“That’s not for me to decide,” Johnson said. “They’ll take the results and do what they do with it. Hopefully (I get drafted). That’s the dream. If not, as long as I get my foot in the door and get an opportunity I’ll be happy with that, too.”
FREDERICK HAPPY PLAYING CENTER OR GUARD
Travis Frederick, who decided to forego his final season of eligibility with hopes of being selected him in next month’s NFL Draft, said he could envision a scenario where a team would draft him with hopes of playing guard.
He also said he’s comfortable playing the center position. In his mind it’s just about what team sees the best fit.
Frederick is labeled as one of the top centers in the 2013 draft class, something he hopes will manifest itself come draft day.
“It surely would mean something to me,” Frederick said, when asked whether it would mean anything if he was the first center selected. “Obviously everyone hopes to be the best in their position in that class and go as high as they can. I just want to fit in on a great team and go somewhere I can hopefully play right away and fit in to hopefully a championship caliber team.”
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