By Kristian Dyer and Mike Naples
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MARTINSVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The NFL Combine is this week, but that doesn’t mean that the draft evaluation process ends, or the training for the NFL Draft for that matter. For Mike Naples, the work continues as he trains for the draft at the TEST Parisi Football Academy. Naples, a product of Somerville High School in central New Jersey, is hoping to parlay his time as a tight end at Boston College into a shot at the NFL.
Naples currently trains six days a week at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, just a short drive from his home. The facility and the TEST Parisi Football Academy has produced some of the best players in the NFL, including the likes of Joe Flacco and Patrick Peterson among dozens of others.
Each week, Naples will blog exclusively for CBS New York on his draft process, taking us into the life of a prospect up through being signed by an NFL team:
RISE AND SHINE
My schedule is pretty intense and there isn’t a whole lot of down time to be honest, not when you’re getting ready for the NFL Draft. I currently am at home with my parents as I go through this process, a smart move since they live about 15 minutes from the TEST facility. My teammate at Boston College, Steele Divitto, also lives with us as he’s claimed the guest room as his own. It’s nice to have a teammate with me as we both train for the NFL.
We are up at 7 a.m. and kick-start the day with some eggs along with a healthy dose of oatmeal or cereal. Close to 45 minutes later, we are making the short drive to TEST to get ready for our workouts. It’s smart to get there early to stretch and ready ourselves, either utilizing the Power Plates or hopping in the cold tube. Workouts begin at 9 a.m., and nearly every morning it is agility and speed training. It’s great to get the running in early though.
We’re done a couple hours later, which means it is time for lunch. Steele and I head to a local deli where they’ve gotten to know us. The guys in there are huge Giants fans and they are hoping that we end up with them. Lunch break gives you a time not just to eat, but to get ready for the afternoon workouts.
PUTTING IN MORE TIME
The afternoon sessions are interesting. We do a lift usually around 1 p.m., alternating lower-body and upper-body days.
Since I’ve been a member of the TEST Parisi Football Academy, I’ve added four reps to my 225-pound bench press and I’m now up to 25 reps. That was my goal heading into things here so I’m hoping to go above that.
The workouts aren’t what you’d imagine. You think about NFL Draft training and you probably imagine players throwing around these huge weights.
I thought it was going to be more heavy-weight stuff but it’s more controlled movements, more functional movements. You’re working on form, you’re working on certain motions, looking to get stronger the right way.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, we do positional work as well. My positional coach here in the TEST Parisi Football Academy is Jerricho Cotchery, the NFL veteran wide receiver. It’s great to get his opinion on running routes. Learning to stay lower, things like that. He’s a really honest and he’s also a great role model.
What I like is that he is open to sharing his own experiences with us. Talking about an NFL locker room and what coordinators are like at that level. All that insight is really interesting.
Steele and I stick around till 5 p.m. or so to do some more work on our own, including cone drills and some more stretching. Then we hit the cold tub again and Chipotle on the way back home. I love that place.
Once home, we have dinner again. Yes, that’s right. We stop at Chipotle and then have dinner an hour later. We try to consume between 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day, up significantly from when I was in college. It is lean protein and the good carbs, but it still is a fun part of this whole experience.
After dinner, I get a couple episodes of the Walking Dead in on Netflix before hitting the sack around 10 p.m. I need to get my rest in as it all starts again tomorrow.
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