Romeus has 'no regrets' about return
Greg Romeus knows it's only natural to second-guess his decision to skip the NFL Draft and return to Pitt for his final year of eligibility, especially after a forgettable senior season.
Just don't expect Romeus to do it.
After missing most of training camp with back pain, Romeus played in the opener at Utah before opting for surgery to remove a bone chip from a nerve. Then, his mother, Fanie, died from cancer in September. Romeus was cleared to return in November but tore the ACL in his right knee at Connecticut in his first game back. That also required surgery.
"That was a risk I had to take, coming back to school," said Romeus, who received a third-round draft grade from the NFL advisory committee after being named 2009 Big East co-defensive player of the year. "It was tough. I'm not going to lie, but when I made up my mind, I told myself, 'no regrets.' That's what motivates me every day."
Romeus was one of 11 former Panthers to participate in Pitt's Pro Day on Tuesday on the South Side. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end participated in only the bench press, doing 225 pounds for 24 repetitions. He met with several NFL clubs, including the Steelers. Once projected as a potential first-round pick, Romeus now is looking forward to hearing his name whenever it is called in the NFL Draft on April 28-30.
"That's the only real adversity I've ever had to deal with in my life," Romeus said. "I feel like I'll never have to deal with anything as bad as this, so it's made me mature and grow into a stronger person."
Of the three Pitt underclassmen to declare for the draft, only running back Dion Lewis ran the 40-yard dash, improving his time from 4.57 seconds at the combine to 4.5 yesterday.
Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin participated only in receiving drills, intending to show his improved route-running while catching passes from California (Pa.) quarterback Josh Portis. Fullback Henry Hynoski (hamstring) did not participate but met with the Steelers.
Jabaal Sheard worked out as a defensive end in the 4-3 and outside linebacker in the 3-4, and said he hears projections that have him being drafted "anywhere from the third to fourth round."
Dom DeCicco also worked out at two positions, and the 6-2 3⁄4, 231-pounder is hoping to show NFL scouts that he has the athleticism to either drop weight and play safety or add it and play outside linebacker.
The 6-2 3⁄4, 231-pounder said he ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.60- to 4.68-second range, had a 4.1-second short shuttle, ran the three-cone drill in 6.6 seconds and recorded a 37-inch vertical jump.
"I think I surprised people, just that I'm more athletic than people give me credit for," DeCicco said. "I had a chip on my shoulder because I wanted to be invited to the (NFL Scouting) Combine. I wanted to show I could compete with the guys that were there."