Dubbed the “fastest man in college football” even before his 4.22-second hand-timed 40-yard run at the Tennessee Pro Day last year, the 5-foot-10 wideout sat out last season after a hamstring tear last August while with the New York Giants.
He practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday (June 12), and that marked his first full-team NFL workout since the injury.
“It felt great,” Snead said, “just to be back playing football again.”
Snead was one of six tryout players on hand for the Tuesday workout. Included among them was former Saints running back Tim Hightower, and Snead and Hightower worked out together in recent months as both hail from the Richmond, Va., area.
The Saints list 13 wide receivers on their 90-man offseason roster, so Snead will need to make quite an impression to stay for longer than the three-day minicamp that ends Thursday.
“I’ve been training just to get back to this point here,” said Snead, whose hamstring tear occurred roughly a three months after he joined the Giants as an undrafted free agent. The Giants released him soon after the injury and he since has not signed with another team.
The Saints are the first NFL team to give him another look, he said.
“Today was really about getting comfortable, knowing my assignment and knowing what I’m doing,” he said. “The more I get comfortable the faster I’ll be able to go. … Today I got a good feel for my first day back and tomorrow I look forward to being faster.”
Snead has faced adversity before. He played his first two college seasons at a junior college in Arizona after poor grades in high school prevented him from getting attention from bigger schools, he said. He attended Eastern Michigan for one season before another transfer to NCAA Division II Carson-Newman in Knoxville, Tenn., on a track scholarship.
While there, he set school records in the 100- and 200-meter runs and earned numerous Division II All-America honors. He also played football and caught six passes over two seasons.
“My first year I didn’t even play,” Snead said. “We ran the wing-T, so we really don’t throw the ball that much. Every opportunity I got, I made the most of it.”
His biggest opportunity came when he took part in the Pro Day at nearby Tennessee. His hand-timed 4.22 in the 40 would have matched now-Cincinnati Bengals wideout Jon Ross for an NFL Scouting Combine record set in 2017 had it been held there.
After that run, Snead had one thought: “Mission accomplished,” he said.
“That opened up a lot of doors for me,” he said. “I got phone calls from everywhere.”
Gallery: Day 1 at Saints Minicamp 2018
Read the NOLA.COM article: www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2018/06/kevin_snead_saints_tryout.html
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