SAN ANTONIO – Former UTSA safety Nate Gaines is working hard to get ready for the Roadrunners' Pro Day in March.
He’s training at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas which is close to his hometown of Mesquite.
“Just the basics they will have at the Pro Day,” Gaines said when asked what he’s trying to improve. “The 40 time to get my speed faster and quickness as far as the short shuttle. Just to be more explosive to show scouts that I’m an explosive player and put it all together for them.”
Gaines earned honorable mention All-Conference USA accolades after recording 41 tackles and a team-high four interceptions during his senior season. Listed at 6’2” and 215-pounds, Gaines is known as a hard hitting safety.
“I pride myself on being a physical safety,” Gaines said. “There’s not a whole lot of safeties like that who base their game on physicality. The greats like Ed Reed and Sean Taylor, I really look up to them because they’re big, hard hitting safeties. They really changed the game around.”
Two weeks ago, Gaines played in the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida. The game showcases the top college football seniors to NFL scouts and GMs. As of now, Gaines looks like a late round selection.
“Two or three months ago, I talked with my agent, that right now I’m a fifth to seventh round draft pick,” Gaines said. “That was pretty good news, but it’s not enough for me. I do want to raise my draft stock.”
Gaines was able to talk with scouts from the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and two CFL teams. Now he has his sights set on the NFL Draft and hearing his name called.
“It’s a great honor to be stacked with names like David Morgan II, (UTSA’s first NFL draft pick in 2016) and Marcus Davenport (projected 2018 first-round selection). It’s a great honor and privilege that we can take a small school and make it on the biggest platform there is and have that name produced to everyone in the country.”
The 2018 NFL Draft will be held from April 26 to 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Gaines said he plans to stay at home for the draft, unless he gets an invitation to attend.