Rahrig goes from walk-on to NFL prospect #iufb

It’s funny for Collin Rahrig to reminisce about the last five years, to think about his arrival in Bloomington as an undersized walk-on and his departure as an NFL prospect.

The years in between saw Rahrig start 36 of the 40 games in which he appeared, 19 of which came at center and the other 17 between left and right guard.

Not bad for a kid from South Bend who didn’t plan to play football at IU when he enrolled in 2010.

“You don’t really expect that four or five years later, this is what you’re gonna be doing,” Rahrig said with a smile after showing off for scouts at Wednesday’s Pro Day.

His task now is proving to those scouts that he’ll be able to stick as a guard or center at the next level. It’s a challenge considering how so many NFL teams try to survive with seven linemen instead of eight. The desire of some teams to keep an extra cornerback or an extra tight end often means one less spot is available for a lineman on the depth chart. But in the right situation, IU coach Kevin Wilson believes Rahrig can stick.

Wilson likened Rahrig to former Oklahoma center Jon Cooper, who has the same build and body as the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Rahrig and spent three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings from 2009-11.

“He’ll have a great chance of, like Adam Replogle, being a practice squad guy,” Wilson said. “The real niche for him, and I was just talking to one of the scouts out there, you have make-it ability, and make-it talent. But it’s gonna be difficult because of number spaces and the flexibility of what you bring.”

Because of his square and compact body, he’ll have a better chance at sticking at center. As a guard, he may not be quite big enough to handle the size of NFL defensive linemen, but Rahrig said he’s willing to do anything to get a job.

Rahrig, an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection as a senior, drew attention at January’s East-West Shrine game in Tampa, Fla. Now he’s hoping some of those connections made with scouts and front office personnel turn into a draft selection or a free agent contract.

“That kind of skyrocketed me a little bit and got my name out there,” Rahrig said. “I don’t really have the exposure that Tevin (Coleman) did with him being able to run so much. I’m a lineman, so if you’re not 6-4, you’re kind of a small guy. So I’m taking it for what it is and taking it in stride.”

Rahrig tore a pectoral muscle during his preparation for IU’s initial Pro Day on March 30, but said he was feeling 80-90 percent healthy on Wednesday when he ran a sub-5.1 time in the 40-yard dash and did position specific exercises for NFL scouts.

He spoke with a few team representatives after the workout session and engaged in a meeting with the Cleveland Browns prior to Pro Day.

Now he’ll wait for the draft, which runs form April 30-May 2.

“It’s crazy to think that you’re moving on through the five years and seeing where you’re at,” he said.

3 comments

  1. wishing you the best and hoping your dreams of playing in the NFL come true….thanks for all you did to help IU football

  2. These type of stories are inspiring and a great example for young people. I hope Collin makes it, stays healthy, and makes a nice living in the NFL for a number of years.

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