UW’s Bryant, Ahmed prepare for their big job interview at NFL Combine
College football players around the country are preparing for what is probably the biggest job interview in their lives to date: the 2020 NFL Combine.
Former University of Washington football players Hunter Bryant and Salvon Ahmed said they feel prepared as they joined KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show in studio this week with their trainer, Tracy Ford.
“I’ve never felt more prepared for something in my life,” Ahmed said. “You know, something you dream of is going to the combine, being able to put your skills on display.”
Both Ahmed and Bryant are leaving the UW with one year of eligibility remaining. Bryant, from Issaquah, finished the 2019 season with 85 career receptions for 1,394 yards.
“I felt like it was the right time for me to leave, and it’s always been my dream to go to the NFL and be a professional football player in the league,” Bryant said. “… So to do what I did at the University of Washington and do what I love, just play football and help them win games, and I was able to put (myself) in a position where I feel like I could come out and pursue my dreams and my passion.”
Ahmed, from Kirkland, ended his junior season with 11 touchdowns and rushed for 1,020 yards.
“Going into this season, I knew that I wanted to leave after this year, but I had goals,” Ahmed said. “It wasn’t an irrational decision by me. I had goals that I wanted to make sure I marked off: 10 plus touchdowns, 1,000 yards.”
The two have been dreaming of the combine and going pro since they were five and six years old, and credit their workouts and training with Ford in helping them to feel prepared. They admitted the diet is the hardest part, laughing about their cheat days and what counts as “dessert.” Ahmed said he looks forward to dried mangoes as a treat, and the shakes they drink because they have a vanilla flavor.
Bryant admitted he gained 14 pounds on their last cheat day, but with the amount they’re working out and their high metabolism, said he lost it all in two days.
Ford is the founder of Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue. In addition to training college players for the NFL, he works with professional players, like Seahawks Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Ford has been training with Ahmed and Bryant since they were teenagers, and said he is proud of them.
“I’m excited for them. The time is now. We’ve kind of been waiting for this time for a while,” Ford said. “These guys are the two guys that kind of originally … put our brand on the map, our stamp on the map.”
Ahmed and Bryant grew up in Washington, so they got to play for their hometown team by attending the UW. Gee Scott asked them what it was like playing for Chris Petersen, who just retired at the end of this season, and about their college football experience.
“It was a blessing, really, just being homegrown and being from Seattle and going to the games growing up and then actually playing on that field in front of fans that really love you, and love the team, love the program,” Bryant said.
Ahmed and Bryant agreed that Coach Petersen prepared them for life outside of football and how to be a man off the field. Taking those lessons into the NFL Combine, Bryant said is huge and was the perfect preparation.
Ahmed and Bryant are grateful for their time and opportunities at the UW, thankful for the support from the fans, coaches, team, and staff. They said that while Coach Petersen will be missed, Coach Lake is a strong replacement, who should be able to bring his defensive strength to the team as a whole.
The NFL Scouting Combine starts Sunday, Feb. 23, with workouts starting on Thursday. More than 300 prospects will participate, including seven players from UW and two from Washington State University.
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