The Houston Cougars just wrapped up their pro day and one guy stood out above the rest. Wide receiver Deontay Greenberry was impressive in his showing, even though he was not invited to either the NFL Scouting Combine or Senior Bowl.
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The California native stands 6’1″ and 211 pounds, which is a good size for a receiver, especially when combined with the 4.45 seconds he put up on the 40 yard dash. To go along with his impressive size and speed, he also showed off soft hands and great leaping ability.
Greenberry had a decent junior season for the Houston Cougars in 2014 after a slow start. He caught 72 passes for 841 yards and six touchdowns. The season overall was considered a let down as it was thought he would at least repeat the success of 2013, when he grabbed 82 passes for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns .
While his final year didn’t go as planned, I don’t think too many people can blame the young man if his mind was not on 100% on football during the year. While he never made any excuses, a tragedy in his life could have affected him more than he was willing to show.
On August 24 the receiver’s father, Leonard Greenberry was shot and killed after an argument at a birthday party in Fresno, California. To make matters worse, Deontay doesn’t know exactly what transpired with his father, and no arrest has been made.
Greenberry said not having the closure is hard, but he was able to talk to his father just hours before his untimely death at 47 years old. His father wanted to come to Houston to see his son play, and asked for a University of Houston jersey with his name on the back.
"“My dad was an athlete growing up in Los Angeles, but he never had the opportunities,” Deontay said. “He always told me he was living his life through me.”"
As hard as it must have been for the young man to deal with, he said he was able to find some solace after his own son was born on October 22.
"“When I’m having a bad day, walking around campus in a really bad mood, I can go home and be with my son, and he makes everything go away,” Greenberry said. “He really brightens up my day.”"
Going through the pains of life and having the maturation of a new father shows the mental toughness that the young man has to go along with his football skills. He is projected to be a later round pick, as evidenced by his combine snub, and could possibly blossom into a very solid receiver at the next level.
With receiver being a position of need for the Houston Texans, it would make plenty of sense to bring him in as a third day pick. With the story he has, it would be hard not to root for Deontay, especially if he is still making plays in Houston.