Texas A&M standout quarterback Ryan Tannehill was told time and time again he couldn’t be the guy under center. He competed for the starting job from 2008 to 2010, only to be moved to wide receiver. There, the versatile athlete put up impressive numbers. But Tannehill always knew he’d eventually be leading his team down the field.
Finally, in 2010, Tannehill got his chance, splitting time at quarterback in a game against Kansas in which he threw 12-16 for 155 yards. Soon enough he became the starter, leading the Aggies to impressive victories over Texas Tech and 11th-ranked Oklahoma.
Tannehill spent 2011 showing NFL scouts that he will be a first-round draft pick, completing 61.6 percent of his passes and tossing for 29 touchdowns. Since the end of the college football season, he’s been training at IMG (Bradenton, Fla.), hoping to move up the board. After fighting back from a foot injury suffered in January, Tannehill is out to prove he has what it takes to lead an NFL team.
During a recent trip to Florida, we watched Tannehill train from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., performing a variety of dynamic, speed and strength exercises. He spent the early morning hours warming up, getting his muscles nice and loose for the grueling training ahead. So it wasn’t until we saw Tannehill on the field throwing balls to Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu that we realized his full potential. Every single pass was an airtight spiral on the money, thrown with textbook mechanics. He was clearly relishing every moment he had on the practice field.
The latter half of the afternoon was spent in the weight room, where the 6’4,” 222-pound beast performed several lower-body exercises, including Back Squats, Single-Leg Squats on a plyo box and Box Jumps. Tannehill’s work ethic was as intense in the gym as it was on the field. He made every rep count, putting forth the same amount of effort on his last set as he did his first. Relaxation came only after he completed an ankle flexibility series and cooled down.
At the end of the day, it was clear that Tannehill is doing the work necessary to make it in the NFL. Want proof? Check back soon for video and more content featuring Tannehill and other future NFL Draft picks—in STACK’s second season of Path to the Pros.