Darnell Savage could've bought it.
He could've believed those who said he was too small and too short to make it, that guys like him just didn't have what it takes to play in the NFL. Instead, he decided to leave the doubting to others.
"My grandfather always told me that you could do whatever you put your mind to. And that really stuck with me, because I feel like people put limitations on themselves," Savage says. That mindset helped him become an All-Big Ten safety at the University of Maryland, and he carried it with him into the pre-draft process.
When Savage arrived at TEST Football Academy to prepare his body for the 2019 NFL Combine, he was already a good athlete. However, he knew he needed to post stellar results if he wanted to elevate beyond his mid-round projection and propel himself into the first-round conversation.
To help him gain an edge, Savage began supplementing with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine during his pre-draft training, a ritual he continues to this day.
CarnoSyn® delivers a high-quality form of beta-alanine, a naturally occurring beta amino acid that's essential for the synthesis of muscle carnosine. The more efficiently you synthesize muscle carnosine, the longer your body can delay the onset of muscle fatigue and muscle failure.
Dosing about 8 grams of CarnoSyn® a day, Savage saw remarkable results. He packed on 10 pounds of lean muscle, added 6.5 inches to his broad jump and shaved 0.26 seconds off his 40-Yard Dash.
"Doing everything we do at the level we do it is really hard on the body," Savage says. "CarnoSyn is actually great to take because if you want to work at your peak performance you kinda have to have something that's there for you that helps you build your body and keeps your body intact."
Savage had a dynamite performance at the 2019 NFL Combine. His blazing 4.36 40-Yard Dash ranked second among all safeties, while his 39.5-inch Vertical Jump and 10-foot-6 Broad Jump were eye-popping displays of explosiveness.
After being projected to go as low as 122nd overall pre-combine, Savage was selected with the 21st overall pick by the Green Bay Packers. The Packers actually shipped off a pair of fourth-round picks so they could move up nine spots and snag Savage.
Despite him being smaller than your prototypical safety at 5-foot-11, 198 pounds, Green Bay was sold on Savage's combination of athleticism, instincts and football IQ.
"There's nothing worse from an offensive perspective when there's a guy that can roam the back end and just eliminate," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said of Savage shortly after the pick. "We thought he was the best safety in the draft."
Savage has since made the Packers' decision-makers look prescient.
Mid-way through his first NFL season, the fiery safety has totaled 25 tackles, 3 passes defended, a forced fumble and one spectacular interception while anchoring Green Bay's defense.
So much for being too small.
Photo Credit: Will Newton/Getty Images
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