FARGO-Nick DeLuca has been walking the same path the last two months that Carson Wentz did when he just finished his North Dakota State football career. It may not result in the same NFL Draft status, but DeLuca likes where he's at heading into this weekend's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Like Wentz did two years ago after his NDSU career, DeLuca signed with Rep 1 Sports in Irvine, Calif., and has been working out with the agency's stable of experts in preparation for a possible NFL career. And that includes more than just working out and eating well.
"They just encompass it from top to bottom," said DeLuca, in an interview on WDAY-AM radio last Saturday morning. "It's just not training and it's just not what to say but it's everything. Every little detail about it. I think they do a really good job of being hands-on."
The former Bison linebacker is up a few pounds to close to 250, he said, but at the same time feeling fast enough to give the 40-yard dash a good effort at the Combine. That drill, he said, may be the most important of them all for him.
He's always had the speed. DeLuca was instrumental as a true freshman on the Bison kickoff coverage team, often being the first player downfield.
"It's something I've been working on, there's so much technique to it," he said of training for the 40. "Right about now I'm wishing I would have ran track in high school instead of playing baseball. We'll see but I'm feeling pretty confident about it."
The linebackers and defensive linemen will be on display Sunday starting at 8 a.m. on the NFL Network. Coverage lasts all day until 6 p.m.
DeLuca said it's "up in the air" what he'll do at NDSU's Pro Day in March, if anything.
"I'll have a better understanding where I'm at after the Combine," he said. "Most likely I would do position work but it's hard to say how it will all play out."
He said the knee he injured during the season that required meniscus surgery is feeling as good as it has since the injury. Part of his time with Rep 1 Sports has been spent on recovery, he said.
DeLuca received some good reviews for his performance at the Senior Bowl at the end of January in Mobile, Ala. Looking ahead to the draft, he said, is something he's trying to avoid.
"There's so much up in the air," DeLuca said. "You really don't know where you're going until you get that call. You might have a good idea but I'm not trying to lean on what anybody says. No one really knows so I'm just doing my thing and staying focused."