INDIANAPOLIS -- Bryce Love won't be working out with the rest of the running backs at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday as he recovers from the ACL tear he suffered in Stanford's final regular-season game, but he expects to be ready to go by the middle of training camp.
"I'm far along," he said during a Thursday press conference. "Everybody says they're ahead of the game, but in my mind, I truly am. I feel great. I'm excited about where I am."
Love's stock seemed to be in decline even before the injury, as his production dipped after his Heisman runner-up season in 2017. However, he still ranks as the No. 5 running back in the draft, per NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks. As such, he'll be plenty busy meeting with clubs here in Indianapolis this week.
"I mean, you're talking about a legend. In my mind, having the opportunity to play in the NFL is a blessing in itself," Love said. "Getting that opportunity is going to mean a lot to me and hearing your name called is going to be huge for me. At the end of the day, it's LeSean McCoy. It's Shady. That would be exciting. I'd love to learn from him and just develop behind him."
Love rushed for a school record 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. He surprised some by returning for his senior season instead of entering the draft as one of the most buzzed about backs in the game, and unfortunately, 2018 didn't go nearly as well. Plagued by injuries, he ran for 739 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and six TDs in 10 games before tearing his right ACL.
Yes, he probably would have gone earlier in the draft had he entered it a year ago, but Love says he has "no regrets" about his decision.
"I was just saying over there, I got the opportunity to play for one of the best universities and play with some of my best friends for another year," he said. "At the end of the day, we didn't win as many games as we wanted to, but you're only guaranteed 12 games. ... I feel like I learned a lot and I feel like I'm a better player for it."
Love still wants to be a pediatrician one day -- part of the reason he opted to continue his studies at Stanford for his senior season -- but said his focus is football now.