MOBILE, Ala. -- He's been on hand for more than two days now, but forgive Jimmy Garoppolo if he feels like he just arrived at the Reese's Senior Bowl. Having come from the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he drew impressive reviews, Garoppolo is back on the all-star circuit this week at the Senior Bowl, with virtually no time in between.
"We had the game (last) Saturday, and I left there Sunday at 4:30 to get on a plane at 7," Garoppolo said of his travels from the Shrine event to this one. "We flew from Tampa to Atlanta, had a two-hour layover, then flew from Atlanta to Pensacola, then had an hour drive to here. Then the whole thing started over again. There was a time change and everything, so I was a little lost (Sunday), but I caught up on my sleep and I feel good to go now."
The Eastern Illinois quarterback is gaining momentum as a prospect, and he's hitting the road to do it. He completed 9 of 14 passes for 100 yards and a score at the Shrine game, and NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah projected him as a second-round draft pick. This week, however, the competition is significantly stiffer, not only at his position but in the defenses he is throwing against, as well.
Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews, after a day of catching Garoppolo's passes in practice, said he has the arm equal to "any big-time SEC quarterback." For Garoppolo, all this travel appears to be paying off.
"The grind is real. I'm a little sleep-deprived, but nothing I can't handle," he said. "I went through all this last week, but it's a little different here. But it's fun. In order to be successful, you've got to make it fun."
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.