If the Bears wind up with Cameron Colvin, he’ll have one heck of a life story to tell when he gets to Halas Hall.
It is one long on character, perseverance and heartache.
A blue-chip recruit for Oregon, the wide receiver never panned out in four seasons for the Ducks and has endured a life full of tragedies off the field and struggles on it. His best friend and fellow Ducks recruit Terrance Kelly was shot dead two days before they were to report as freshmen. Both of his parents died by his sophomore year in high school. His college career was marred by missed opportunities and injuries, worst of all a broken right ankle suffered in October in a game against Washington State.
But Colvin is determined to make the climb to the NFL even though he wasn’t invited to the combine last month. The Bears were one of a handful of teams present for the second Oregon pro day last Thursday, which was more or less a makeup date. Colvin was one of the Ducks who worked out for Bears scout Marty Barrett and representatives from Miami and Minnesota.
``The Bears scout probably put me through the most drills,’’ Colvin told the Sun-Times Monday afternoon. ``He asked me to work as a slot receiver a lot. He seemed interested.’’
Four years ago, Colvin arrived at Oregon as one of the country’s most decorated receivers. Rivals.com named him the second-best receiver in the nation following his senior season at De La Salle High in Concord, Calif. Right behind LSU’s Early Doucet. Right ahead of current pros Calvin Johnson (Lions) and Dwayne Jarrett (Panthers). Scout.com named him one of four five-star receivers in 2004.
While Doucet is one of the top-ranked receivers in this draft class, there is a chance Colvin will not hear his name called on selection weekend. But he knows he’ll get a chance somewhere, at least as a free agent. You don’t go from can’t miss stud to off the map entirely unless character is a major issue. Character is one of Colvin’s selling points. But his 40-yard dash last week was bad. There’s no other way to put it. He ran between 4.7 and 4.8, although in the fall (pre-injury) he was timed near 4.4. He did fare better in the three-cone drill, finishing in 6.9 seconds.
Colvin knows plenty about the Bears. Ducks cornerback Jairus Byrd is the son of Bears’ assistant defensive backs coach Gil Byrd. One of Colvin’s best friends is Don Johnson Jr., son of former defensive line coach Don Johnson.
He will have one more opportunity to impress April 3. That’s when Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon will throw for the first time for pro scouts coming off his knee injury. A good crowd is expected. Colvin will be running routes anxious to prove he’s another step closer five months removed from surgery for an injury Oregon coach Mike Bellotti originally said might require up to eight months rehab time.