Former Penn State star RB Saquon Barkley and five other players headline list of NFL draft picks who trained at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this year
Former Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley and five other former college stars such as defensive end Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State), safety Jordan Whitehead (Pittsburgh), tight end Will Dissly (Washington), center Cole Madison (Washington State) and safety Marcus Allen (Penn State) were all selected in the recently concluded 2018 NFL Draft. All six players trained with renowned performance trainer Tom Shaw at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort this spring.
Barkley was the first of Shaw’s prospects off the board, taken as the second pick of the draft by the New York Giants. The former Nittany Lions running back recorded 1,903 yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns last season for Penn State. Other Shaw athletes drafted include Lewis, who went No. 64 to the Indianapolis Colts in the second round. He was followed by Whitehead, selected 117th by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round while Dissly was the 120th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round. The Green Bay Packers selected Madison 138th overall in Round 5 while Allen rounded out Shaw’s selections when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fifth round (148th overall).
Barkley’s selection gives Shaw 146 NFL first-round draft choices.
Shaw has more than 28 years of experience in performance training for pro football, baseball, basketball and soccer players, including some of the biggest names in the NFL including Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Oakland Raiders linebacker Kalil Mack, Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Jameis Winston and Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott.
Bert Whigham, sports performance trainer at Tom Shaw Performance Camp since 2010, discussed each of the six players who were selected in the first five rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
On Saquon Barkley: “As I said on Thursday night, the New York Giants won the entire draft when they took Saquon with the second overall pick. Saquon is going to be special. He would fit into any system, but he will help open up that offense and allow them to spread the field for Odell Beckham, Jr., and the other wide receivers. Saquon is going to make Eli Manning’s job a lot easier.”
On Tyquan Lewis: “Tyquan is a run stuffer who can also get after the quarterback as a defensive end. He is going to be able to create consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback, and I think he has a chance to be an NFL Week 1 starter for the Colts and surprise a lot of people around the league.”
On Jordan Whitehead: “Jordan is an extremely strong player and is going to be a great player on special teams. He is a hard-nosed, tough guy who always seems to be around the football. Tampa Bay had one of the worst defensive backfields in football last year, so he will definitely be an instant upgrade.”
On Will Dissly: “Will is a big, athletic blue collar player who was arguably the best blocking tight end in the draft this year. He was a workhorse while he trained with us in that he was one of the first guys to show up every day and was the last guy out the door at the end of the day. He has amazing versatility in that he can long snap which adds value to what he will bring to the Seahawks. A tight end who can block, catch and long snap is a very valuable asset. Add to that his work ethic and his commitment to the game and you have a guy who has a chance to have a long and productive career in the NFL.”
On Cole Madison: “Cole is another athletic offensive lineman who played tackle in college at Washington State, but will likely be moved to guard in the NFL. His strengths are his smarts, his understanding of the game and his pass-blocking technique. He will be a great addition to Green Bay’s offensive line.”
On Marcus Allen: “Marcus has amazing energy and his personality is going to fit in nicely with what head coach Mike Tomlin wants his defense to be and that is tough, relentless and unyielding. While he was training with us, Marcus worked hard on his conditioning, his straight line speed and his strength. He ran a 4.5 at his Pro Day and had a 37-inch vertical jump. He finished with 321 total tackles (5th all-time) in 52 games at Penn State and is a tackling machine. He is going to be one of those in the box safeties that will mix it up inside and play aggressively. He will be a good NFL player.”