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Thursday, March 24, 2005
OT happy with 'pro day' performance

By Khalif Barnes
Special to ESPN.com

Before I even begin, let me first say congratulations to the Huskies basketball squad for getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and for representing U Dubb on the national level. I have to give a shout out to the whole team, especially the "Little Big Man," Nate Robinson who some of you may know played cornerback for the football team his freshmen year. The boy is a Top 10 play waiting to happen; he will dunk on anyone, any size, anywhere. It should be a good [game] tonight [vs. Louisville].

Barnes diary
Editor's note: Between now and the NFL draft, former Washington offensive tackle Khalif Barnes will be doing periodic diaries for ESPN.com.
Diary 1: Hectic times

Now, what has been going on with me?

We ended with me getting ready for Washington's "pro day," which turned out to go really well. One of the [team's representatives] actually took me to dinner the night before and fed me a nice steak dinner. I guess he was trying to slow me down for my workout the next day, but it didn't work.

As I had planned, I didn't do any speed work because I felt I showed my best at the scouting combine. I redid my broad jump and improved. I went from about 8'10" at the combine to about 9 feet at the "pro day." I also did positional work for a handful of offensive line coaches who tried to put me through the ringer. I had coaches jumping in and out of drills, testing me in every possible offensive lineman drill there was. But this was the easy part. The coaches then took me into a classroom and put me in front of the board. It turned out to be Advanced Football and I had just walked into a pop final. They put up a couple of their plays, erased them, and had me redraw them. I had to draw up two of my favorite pass plays, and break them down by position.

They asked me all sorts of situational questions. Who has what responsibilities on this play? Where does this person go in this case? What happens if the defensive tackle spins this way? Anything that could be answered by a drawing or by words, they were firing at me. And you know that feeling you have when you walk out of an exam that you know you aced, and all you can really do is laugh because you handled it? That's how I felt.

Besides the "pro day," life in Seattle has been rather calm. I continue to work out on my own everyday on campus. I am sticking to the diet that I have been on since I was in Arizona, and now I am just waiting to go to these workouts that I have scheduled. As of now, I have some lined up for the beginning of April, and I know there are a few more teams who have called about me. I believe a couple others are planning to come out here to work me out as well. I don't know all the details; I let Kenny (my agent) handle all of that. I call him and find out where my next move is and go; I just worry about the football.

Oh, I have to tell you about my very first trading card. [Members in] Priority Sports Marketing Department told me that they had signed me to a card deal with a company called PressPass, and that I was going to get paid to sign about 3,000 cards. It wasn't that big of a deal to me until I saw the cards today. I had to do a double take once I saw how good I looked; I've come a long way to have my own card. I'm telling you, if you get this card in a pack, save it, put it in one of those cases. It's going to be worth something one day. I also did a double take once I saw how many cards 3,000 actually was. Believe me, 3,000 in your head, and 3,000 in your hands are two entirely different things. I see I am going to have to spread this project out over a couple of days.

OK, I need to go work out and run some errands so that my evening is completely free tonight. I have to make sure that nothing gets in the way of me watching my Huskies take on Louisville in the Sweet 16. Tonight it's all about me, the TV, the remote and 3,000 trading cards of yours truly.