Local Towson University product Tommy Breaux is a superb athlete that excelled on the collegiate level in both football and basketball.
But it is obvious that Breaux has a lot of work to do to take his game to the professional ranks. Now, during his three-day tryout with his hometown team, Breaux is doing all he can to make the Ravens team see that he is worth an investment on his potential.
"It's a dream come true," Breaux said of Tuesday during rookie minicamp. "There is nothing better than being at home, so it's been a blast being here.
"I just want to show them that I can play this game," he continued. "I'm willing to work hard and want to help this team win the Super Bowl. I'm still a younger receiver, and I think this young kid has potential to play receiver in this game."
At just a hair over 6-foot-7, Breaux cuts an imposing figure. He may be slight, weighing a wiry 199 pounds, but Breaux is impossible to miss on the practice field.
Playing with the Ravens this week during rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, Breaux stood tall in the huddle – taller than anyone else on the field, except perhaps for 6-foot-7 offensive tackle Joe Reitz (also a former NCAA basketball player).
Rookie free agent quarterback Drew Willy tried to take advantage of that on Tuesday when he threw two fades to the back right corner of the end zone during red zone drills.
Both times, Breaux did not come up with the catch. The plays showed how far he still has to go. Coaches worked with him especially on catching the ball away from his body and his route-running.
Still, Breaux's speed – he ran the 40 in 4.51 and 4.47 seconds at Towson's Pro Day - and leaping ability – 35 ½ inches – make him an obvious threat to score. At the very least, those qualities earned him an audition for the Washington Redskins in addition to his current one with the Ravens.
"I can stretch the field, and we're basically going deep a lot," Breaux said. "I think my size helps me, especially on the deep routes. I can cover ground a lot faster."
The Randallstown, Md., native was impressive for the Tigers on the hardwood. He only played two seasons of basketball because he transferred from Blinn Junior College in Texas in 2006 and suffered a foot injury that held him out of the 2007-08 campaign, but Breaux was a shot-blocking machine that was very active around the basket.
Breaux averaged 5.9 points and blocked 66 shots in 2006-07.
When it came to the gridiron, Breaux burst on to the scene late in his senior year, scoring five touchdowns in his last four games.
Then, his Pro Day performance had some thinking he could be a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick.
"There is a lot of talk where you're going to go, but you never know in this game," Breaux explained.
The choice between the sports was difficult, however. Even though he has limited experience playing football, Breaux felt that he could better further his career in the NFL, no matter how big of a jump it is from Division 1-AA Towson to the Ravens.
"It was definitely a tough decision, but I felt like I had a better chance of getting on a pro team in football," Breaux said. This is like going straight from high school to the NBA."