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'We had to rely on each other a little bit more.' College Athletes Talk NFL Combine Amid COVID-19

CW44 News At 10 - Some of your favorite Florida athletes are getting a chance to show off their abilities to the NFL this week. CW44 News at 10 sat down with the six Florida State Seminoles chosen to head to this year's NFL combine and how the pandemic has impacted their journey to get there.

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"I feel like I can track the ball very well and be able to make plays on the ball wherever the ball is at," said Asante Samuel Jr., who plays Cornerback for Florida State University.

The 2021 NFL draft prospects took Friday morning to explain why they were the few of more than 300 players invited to attend this year's NFL combine.

"I just played my technique and trusted my technique," said Samuel Jr.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, FSU did not have a Pro Day last year. This meant a number of departing seniors missed their chance to show off their abilities to NFL scouts. FSU's Spring Practice was also called off.

REPORTER QUESTION: "So, what are some of the biggest changes you, as a player had to deal with leading up to now, which is such an important time for yourself?".

Asante Samuel Jr., "Well, I feel like all the Covid testing, wearing masks, have to social distance while in meetings or not being able to get as [much] hands on coaching throughout the spring process or just not having spring ball." This year will essentially be the opposite, with a completely restructured, untelevised NFL combine, individual workouts and virtual psychological testing. "When me and Hamsa went back to the practice yesterday, I felt like the energy was there, a lot more guys were focused on their assignments and they just took it more personal," he said.

REPORTER QUESTION "How do you think that will impact your career moving forward into the NFL?"

"I can say, I just [have] to stay locked into the main thing. The main thing is the main thing so, if I'm staying locked into what I [have] to do and what I have to focus on, I think everything will be good," said Tamorrion Terry, who plays Wide Receiver for Florida State.

With as many adjustments for these NFL hopefuls, they tell me they're staying positive through the process using what they've learned to help their upcoming teammates.

"I feel like it was very tough, but I feel like, mentally, it made us more of a team and more of a family and we had to rely on each other a little bit more," said Samuel Jr.

And despite the hurdles of a such a unique college athletic career, these star players say they plan to pour back into the university what has been invested in them.

"Just come back and give my insights and my.. whatever I went through, just help those guys out and tell them through the process how it went for me as well," said Janarius Robinson, Defensive End, Florida State.

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