As the Washington Redskins embark on rookie camp, Derrius Guice has something to prove. Not only to his new team but to all the teams that passed him up at the NFL Draft. Clearly a first-round talent, Guice was plagued with concerns about his character just days before the Draft was set to take place. Rumors that surfaced about his attitude, issues with tardiness during the pre-draft process, and an alternation during a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles left many teams unwilling to take a chance on Guice.
“I’ve been seeing a lot about me slipping out of the first round,” Guice explained to Pro Player Insiders. “I just don’t understand it. I’m a great running back. A lot of teams would be blessed to have me. We just have to see how it goes.”
He even had concerns about how the bad publicity was affecting his ability to be himself. “I can’t really let my personality shine like normal. Now I’ve got to be this person that I’m not. I have to hide who I really am. I’ve got to hide my personality because if not, I get backlash. I’m a great dude. I’m a great dude to be around. But all I get is backlash. I have character issues. I’m a bad person. I do this, I do that. I’ve never been suspended. Never been arrested. Never been in trouble with the law. Never been in trouble at LSU. And now I’m getting all this backlash like I’m a terrible person. Like out of nowhere. It sucks,” Guice further explained. “To be with my family going out to eat and see all this stuff that’s not even true about their kid. It’s just one of those things where I’m like where is this coming from. It just don’t make sense to me.”
Guice’s worse fears came true as he slid down the Draft board, late into the second round. However, this played out perfectly for the Redskins who traded down and picked him up at 59th overall.
Although the wait was uncomfortable, he knew going into it that the outcome wasn’t in his hands. “God already has it planned out. He knows where I’m going to go. You can only control what you can. I did that throughout my whole college career, the Combine, and Pro Day. Now it’s in God’s hands. It’s in the hands of the people and what those teams need. I can’t really do much now.”
The team that needed him was the Redskins. They didn’t let the chatter stop them from pursuing a talented running back that would add speed to their roster.
“We looked at reports and talked to Derrius’ agent and got a pretty good indication that we felt good about taking Derrius at that position,” said Coach Gruden. “Lucky to get him. This is a hard-nosed runner, plays hard. He can catch the football, he can pass protect, he’s got good vision and a guy we really liked in early rounds.”
Guice believes his style of play is very similar to his good friend and former LSU teammate Leonard Fournette.
“Leonard is that generational back. No one was better in college football. The guy runs angry. He’s trying to stomp everybody who comes across him. He’s going to drop his shoulder every play. That’s just how he runs. In ways, we’re more similar than different. I don’t really see the differences. I see more of the similarities. We’re very similar runners.”
Leonard has proven to be a valuable asset to the Jacksonville Jaguars. His relentless style of running has given a lot of opponents’ trouble. The Redskins are looking for the same, if not better, production from Guice.
Fournette also gave him some sound advice about preparing for his NFL run. “The only thing me and Leonard has talked about was leading up to the Combine and Pro Day. What I need to focus on. What I need to attack most which was receiving. Which was the same thing he did at Pro Day last year which was a lot of receiving stuff. Just attack that and make sure you are well-hydrated and conditioned for when you start mini-camp.”
The start of rookie mini-camp will be the first glimpse of Guice in action as he settles in with the team that believed in him despite issues about his attitude and character that left him wondering if his name would ever be called. Now it’s time for Guice to prove on-and-off the field that the Redskins made the right decision.
“This is what I prepared for nearly 15 years. I can’t let stuff that comes up weeks and days ago stop what I prepared for my whole life. It’s just one of those things where you just got to hopefully let God see the truth.”
In one simple statement on Twitter leading up to mini-camp, Guice showed that he is ready to prove doubters wrong and expose his truth.
I’m coming your way ???? #HTTR
— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) May 10, 2018
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