Brian Winters had been laying low.
So low, most local media, a handful of Kent State officials and even some of Winters’ former teammates hadn’t been able to get ahold of him despite leaving countless messages.
But Winters (Hudson High School) finally had to come out of hiding Friday, when he was selected No. 72nd overall by the New York Jets in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Winters told the Record Courier he’d been “laying low” for the last month because “I don’t want any distractions or anything around me. Maybe after I’m picked I’ll celebrate. But during [the draft], I just want to be alone.”
Now, it’s finally time to celebrate.
A standout left tackle at Kent State, the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Winters is expected to move inside to play guard or right tackle with the Jets.
Winters was invited to the NFL Combine in February, but only managed nine reps in the bench press due to what was initially reported as a pectoral injury, but recently has been described as a shoulder injury.
A week later, Winters worked out on a limited basis at KSU’s Pro Day, then spent the next two months traveling across the country to work out for a handful of NFL teams.
KSU offensive coordinator Brian Rock said he is thrilled for Winters.
“He’s a great player with a great chance to play for a while at this level,” Rock said in a news release. “It’s great to see him on this national stage. … now the work starts. I talked to him yesterday and he was very anxious.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Kent State blog at http://www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.