NFL Nation: Dan Diego Chargers
DAVIE, Fla. -- Chances are, at least one person in your family is every bit the athlete Greg Camarillo is.
|Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI|
|Greg Camarillo might not be the prototypical NFL receiver, but he leads the Dolphins with 372 receiving yards.|
He is listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. He ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash at his pro workout day before the draft. He wears size medium gloves.
Drive toward the illuminated light stanchions in your town on a Friday night and look through the chain-link fence. You'll see high school players who fit Camarillo's general description.
Those kids could play in the NFL, too. They almost certainly won't. If it was that easy, then Camarillo's story wouldn't be considered exceptional.
"I'm still amazed by it sometimes," Camarillo said while hunkered over a plastic plate of barbeque chicken, rice and beans at his stall in the Miami Dolphins locker room. "I wasn't supposed to be here.
"Pretty much every step of my journey I wasn't supposed to take the next step. Odds were against me. That's how my athletic career has been. I've always been the underdog, and I kind of like that."
Unrecruited, unable to score in college, not invited to the scouting combine and undrafted is not a good formula for becoming a go-to NFL target.
Yet Camarillo, who forever will be remembered as the hero who saved the Dolphins from the embarrassment of a winless season last year, leads them with 32 catches for 372 yards and a touchdown.
He has more catches than last year's ninth overall draft pick (Ted Ginn) and has started every game, while a handsomely paid offseason acquisition (Ernest Wilford) and a 2006 third-round pick (Derek Hagan) watch in street clothes.
"He's a guy that from the day that I walked in the door here has done nothing but make plays," Dolphins first-year head coach Tony Sparano said. "Every practice that I'm out there, Camarillo separates from somebody, makes a play, dives for a ball, makes a great catch, beats somebody that he's not maybe on paper not supposed to beat in man-to-man coverage."