ESPN The Magazine Follows Former Coyote Tyler Starr as He Gets Ready for the NFL Draft, While Dishing Out Mad Props for Sanford’s Sports Complex
What starts out a national story by ESPN The Magazine story on sports agent Kyle Strongin, quickly turns into a local story with an inside look at former South Dakota defensive standout Tyler Starr, one of Strongin’s clients, as he prepares for this week’s NFL Draft.
The story, by writer Eddie Matz, also dishes out some high praise for the Sanford Sports Complex in Northwest Sioux Falls.
The story about Starr and Strongin begins at the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis in February, where the former Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, came away disappointed after posting the second slowest 40-yard dash time for a linebacker: 4.95. That’s the focus of player and agent, despite Starr turning in the fastest time in the three-cone drill, and the fourth best in the short shuttle. At the end of the day, it’s that 40 time that most of the scouts put the most stock in.
By the time Starr took part in Pro Day at the Sanford Sports Complex, March 13th, he managed to put that dismal 40 time in Indy behind him, sort of, when he crossed the line at 4.78:
Starr’s 4.78 was so good, the scouts say, so fast relative to his combine time and his first pro day heat, that it has to be a mirage.
Convinced that he jumped the start, they ask him to run again.
A tense conference follows, involving the scouts, Strongin and Starr, as well as several USD officials and strength coaches.
The scouts tell Strongin that they need another data point and that if his client doesn’t run again, they’ll have no choice but to discount the 4.78.
Reluctantly, Strongin agrees to send his client back to the starting line.
On Starr’s third try — of the 14 prospects on hand, he’s the only one who will run more than twice — he splits the difference.
After being informed that his client’s official pro day time, the one that will get sent out to all 32 NFL teams, will be a 4.84, Strongin is undeterred.
‘We’ll call it whatever we want,’ he says, ever the agent. He’s a glass-half-full guy. You have to be in his line of work. ‘We’ll find someone who had him at a 4.78.’
Not only does Matz give you some real insight into the player-agent relationship and the behind the scenes prep for the biggest off-season event in the NFL each year, he also dishes out some high praise for the fieldhouse at Sanford Sports Complex, calling it:
…as impressive as any training complex in the country. Opened in September 2012, the $9 million, 85,000-square foot facility, with its column-lined front and pale cement exterior, looks like a cross between an opulent Vegas casino and an ancient Greek point of interest.
Situated on the northern edge of Sioux Falls, equidistant from South Dakota and South Dakota State, it’s the perfect venue for the state’s only pro day.
You can listen to the NFL Draft live on ESPN 99.1 starting Thursday night at 6:00.