Neither of running back Nic Grigsby‘s final two seasons at Arizona went as planned. A shoulder injury in 2009. Ankle problems in 2010.
Nothing he can do about that now.
For Grigsby, it is all about looking forward, trying to show the pro scouts the promise of his earlier years as an Arizona Wildcat, which included a 1,153-yard sophomore season.
He is training in Scottsdale at ZONE Athletic Performance and will play Sunday in the Eastham Energy College All-Star Game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Fox Sports Arizona will carry the game starting at 5:30 p.m.
In terms of a showcase, it’s not the Senior Bowl, or even the East-West Shrine Game, but it’s an opportunity nonetheless.
“All the scouts here come every day and talk to you about what plans you have and what plans they would like to see from here,” Grigsby told Kevin McCabe on 1060-AM The Fan in Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon.
“Lots of scouts have been talking to me. Lots of scouts know what I’m capable of doing, but they know I can’t run on a bad ankle, can’t run with a bad shoulder. They know that. They just want me to do my best and just explode come camp time.”
Grigsby is one of three running backs on the “Stripes” team. The others are Oklahoma’s Mossis Madu and Iowa State’s Alexander Robinson. One of the quarterbacks for the Stripes — the other team is the Stars — is Jeremiah Masoli, formerly of Oregon and Ole Miss.
Grigsby finished his senior season with 118 carries for 533 yards and eight touchdowns. His career total of 2,957 rushing yards is the sixth-best total in school history. He also had 85 receptions for 508 yards and three scores.
He had more carries as a sophomore (214) than he did in his final two seasons combined, and that had a lot to do with injuries.
“There is a lot of frustration because I could have been out there doing good for my team, doing anything I could to help my team, just being a sparkplug,” he said in the radio interview.
“I wasn’t able to be a sparkplug for the team this year as much as I wanted to. It was very frustrating because I hate spectating. I knew I could be out there making plays. … Just gotta stay healthy, that’s all.”
Grigsby said he is hearing he could be a fourth- to seventh-round selection, although NFLDraftScout.com doesn’t even list him as a free-agent possibility.
Workouts for pro scouts — this week and in the next few months — will tell the tale.
–Grigsby is the only Arizona player in the game, but he has three former Arizona State players on his team. As often happens at all-star events, players ask other players to exchange helmet stickers. “One of the ASU guys came up asking for an ‘A,’ and I said, ‘You’re crazy. Nah, you can’t get one of these. I don’t want one of yours,’” Grigsby said. “It was pretty funny.”
–Two former Wildcats — defensive end Ricky Elmore and offensive tackle Adam Grant — will participate in the East-Shrine Game in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.
–Defensive end Brooks Reed was officially added Wednesday to the Senior Bowl, the most prestigious of the postseason all-star games. The Senior Bowl will be held Jan. 29 in Mobile, Ala.