Editor's note: Former Alabama star left tackle and NFL prospect Cyrus Kouandjio will be chronicling his path to the draft with a weekly diary entry on NFL.com. He's a potential first-round pick and is ranked 28th on NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of the draft's top 50 prospects.
Thanks for checking out the first installment of my weekly NFL Draft Diary. First off, I want to thank NFL.com for reaching out to me with this opportunity. Over the next three months, I'm going to give you an inside look at what I go through as I prepare for the draft. I'm excited to share my experience with all of you.
For those of you who don't know much about me, I play offensive left tackle and declared for the draft early after three seasons at Alabama -- Roll Tide! -- where I was fortunate to be a part of a great program under head coach Nick Saban. I was born in Cameroon, which is in the Western part of Africa, and moved to the United States with my family when I was four years old. I played a lot of soccer when I was growing up and started playing football in high school at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., where I was a part of another winning tradition.
I've been playing football for just six years, but I've quickly developed a great love for the sport and I'm driven to be one of the best left tackles to ever play the game. I know that will require a lot of hard work, but I'm dedicated to maximizing my potential and to putting in the time and effort necessary to help me achieve my goals.
I'm writing this from Pensacola, Fla., where I'm working out in preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine later this month in Indianapolis. After I made the decision to declare for the draft, I've been down here in attack mode. I'm working hard on getting my body in the best condition possible and doing drills that are focused on improving my strength, speed, agility and overall athleticism.
There are several guys with me here at the Athletes' Performance Institute, including Jadeveon Clowney and Eric Ebron. We all have the same agent, Bus Cook, and it's been great to be able to work with positive guys who share similar goals. Outside of the gym, we've all gone to dinners and talked about our college football experiences.
That's all for now, but I'll be back next week with a more in-depth look at my combine preparation and what my mindset is before heading off to Indy.
Have a great week everyone.