Nevada's Strong still has 2 favorite targets at Senior Bowl
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By JOHN ZENOR
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) Nevada quarterback Carson Strong got one more week to throw passes to his favorite receivers, who also happened to be his college roommates.
The Wolf Pack quarterback, wide receiver Romeo Doubs and tight end Cole Turner are teaming up for Saturday's Senior Bowl. Now, they're doing it in front of NFL coaches and team officials. They're sharing the moments in between endless streams of meetings and job interviews, trying to enhance their stock before the NFL draft in April.
"None of us were the most highly recruited guys," Strong said. "We all developed to get here. All of us are all ball, that's all we care about and that's why we're here. That's how we got ourselves in this position, we just grinded for four years and we got better over time."
And they did it, like many other things, together. The trio roomed together from Day One through their final seasons at Nevada, moving from the dorm to an apartment.
The chemistry carried over onto the field.
Strong, a two-time Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year, just happened to room with his top targets who just happened to become two of his closest friends.
They played lots of games of Madden in their early years and convened in the film room for countless hours later in their careers.
"We always gravitated toward each other," Turner said. "The kind of guys always with the same goal that we wanted to keep playing.
"We're all guys who are pretty chilled and laid back. We never really argued. We always got along."
Strong, he said, was the messier one, and Doubs was the tidiest roommate.
The quarterback was a two-time Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year, leading the league with 4,175 yards and 36 touchdowns last season. Strong played despite having knee surgery last February in what was supposed to be a year-long recovery process.
He wore a knee brace most of the season and said watching film he looked "like a statue" without the full mobility.
"During the season, I was just dealing with some inflammation problems and my leg was getting swollen," Strong said. "It just wasn't quite ready. But there was no way I wasn't going to play the season.
"As the year went along, I got better. I feel comfortable right now without it. I'm still getting my feet under me right now. Still getting better, but I feel good."
The other quarterbacks mostly were throwing to new receivers in practices starting Tuesday. Not Strong, who is intimately familiar with Turner and Doubs on the field.
Doubs had 80 catches for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Turner produced 677 yards and 10 TDs on 62 receptions.
The 6-foot-6, 246-pound Turner gave a pro scouting report on both his teammates and himself:
- "I think Carson plays with the confidence and swagger that a quarterback needs," Turner said. "It's kind of something you can't really teach. You either have it or you don't. He's got it for sure."
- "Romeo is just a freak of nature. He's 6-2 and moves like a guy who's 5-9. He can run by you. He stops on a dime."
- "I think I'm versatile. I can do a lot of different things. I'm someone who's going to go over the middle and make tough catches, be a threat in the red zone, come down with the high-point balls. Get in there and block and mix it up too."
Now, they're trying to validate those glowing reports for NFL teams while enjoying what is likely their last game week as teammates.
"It's a great feeling to have Carson throw to me for one last final time," Doubs said. "It's a pretty great opportunity to get back with the guys again. I think the chemistry between us three was very big and important throughout the season."
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Updated February 2, 2022