Ricky Elmore has spent the last three months training, lifting, interviewing - and wondering.
And frankly, he's exhausted.
"I'm really trying to sit back and relax," Elmore said. "But imagine waiting on the biggest job opportunity of your life. Imagine the anxiety that comes with that."
Elmore could find relief today. Many experts believe the Arizona Wildcats' senior standout will be taken in the middle rounds of the NFL draft, which continues today. Like teammates Brooks Reed and D'Aundre Reed, Elmore projects as either a defensive end or linebacker at the next level.
Elmore has met with 16 NFL teams in the last month. He worked out for eight teams privately and talked to another eight on the phone. He's trying not to read too much into their interest; some teams, Elmore said, "will just call you so they have your phone number."
"You try not to get too excited about that," he said. "You don't know what it means."
The Star talked to Elmore, 23, about his pro prospects:
• On his NFL dreams: "In high school, I thought it was going to happen. But when you get to college and your first year you don't play and your second year you're on special teams, it's not realistic anymore. When I started playing, it came back into mind."
• On his pre-draft reputation as a hard worker and good teammate: "That's better than being a physically gifted freak. The guy that has the intangibles, the guy that works hard, the guy that has a good head on his shoulders - that's the guy who's going to make it the NFL. There are guys who, whether it's in football or in life, are generally going to be successful. I think that's me."
• On his life off the field: "I think that's really got me to where I am now. I've got a good head on my shoulders. I don't want to go to the parties, I don't want to be in the club. I don't want jewelry. I have what I want. My family and my friends support me, I have a wonderful girlfriend. Bruce, my dog, is one of our best friends. I feel like I'm very mature for my age. To be successful in the NFL, you have to have a good head on your shoulders."