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April 20, 2004

Former University of Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub is handling the upcoming National Football League Draft the same way he contended with opposing defenses…with maturity, tenacity, and style. A projected second round pick in the annual NFL selection process and one of the top five college quarterbacks to be selected, Schaub has done all his homework, talked to the right people, and will play golf this weekend to keep away from the television and the phone.

“This has been a long drawn out process,” Schaub admitted. ” It’s a once in a lifetime deal. I’ve been training everyday since the bowl game. I’m preparing for a lot of spring and summer work, and a 20-game schedule. But I’m definitely ready.”

For the past few months, Schaub has been tested, his arms have been twisted and pulled, he has been poked, prodded, stretched, and has thrown more passing routes than any time in his life.

“There were three work outs here in Charlottesville. On April 12th, the Browns came with their owner, quarterback coach, offensive coordinator, director of player personnel, and head coach. It was raining so hard I had to work out somewhere. I kicked the track team out of the cage so I could throw to Ryan (Sawyer) and Art (Thomas).”

“Afterwards, they took me into the film room and drilled me. It was like an exam. They tested me on coverages, hot routes, all kinds of stuff. It was a total exam.”

Schaub began preparations for his life in the NFL a long time ago. As the West Chester, Pennsylvania native was turning heads during his junior year for the Wahoos, he quizzed then offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, about the entire process. How to select an agent, what to look for in a financial planner, what to expect during the combine workouts, and what questions to ask the football people.

“Musgrave and I talked a lot the past two years,” Schaub said. “I let it be known that I didn’t want to be called every day by agents. It was very similar to the college recruiting process so I told them to call my parents. Not only would the agents call every day, they would even fly to my house. My parents were very involved in who I would select to represent me. We had day-to-day contact.

Schaub’s agent is David Dunn from Athletes First, a Newport Beach, California-based agency who represents several NFL quarterbacks.

“I played in a golf tournament with Carson Palmer, Drew Bledsoe, and Joey Harrington. They were very helpful to me on what to look for on draft day, and the NFL in general.”

“This is a gruesome business. Think about it. Each team in the NFL carries three quarterbacks. There are 96 spots. They range in age from 23 to 36. I’m trying to take food off of someone’s table. But that’s the way it is.”

Schaub is proud to be representing UVA this weekend during the draft and feels the Groh system truly paid off for him during his last two years. When asked about the projection of a second round selection and the fifth quarterback overall the 6’5 signal caller understands his place in the pecking order.

“I really only played two years. Some of the other guys, like (Philip) Rivers , were in their systems for four. I understand that. But I know I can be an NFL quarterback. My strengths are intelligence, accuracy, and size. Some of the teams might question my arm strength, but that’s the way our system was run here. I did not have to throw deep a lot, ” Schaub said.

And regarding the draft weekend?

“It’s going to be a relief…but it’s going to be exciting as well.”

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