NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — New Castle native and former Iowa Hawkeye Geno Stone has been trying to stay in shape while waiting for this weekend’s NFL Draft, but it hasn’t been easy.
“I found a high school field to actually work out at,” Stone said. “I was there for like two or three weeks and after a while they kicked us out of there so I had to find another place…got kicked out of there. That doesn’t make me a bust and I am going to get drafted, but just being in this pandemic at this time is crazy.”
Working out might be an issue for stone, but talking with potential employers has been a breeze. In fact, he’s personally interviewed with all but three NFL teams. Those scouts have given him a wide range of where they think he might be selected.
“I heard a bunch of different things. You know I don’t want to put a round or anything on it…the only thing I really heard was ‘mid-round.’ So wherever I fit in that area…usually 2nd to 5th round.”
Coming out of high school, Stone was lightly recruited. In fact, Iowa was his only power-five scholarship offer. Many felt then, as some still feel now, that his size holds him back…but not Stone.
“I’ve been underappreciated my whole life,” Stone said. “And it’s alright, you know. It’s what keeps me going…I keep fighting every day for this opportunity and it is finally here.”
That under-appreciation may be changing. The website Pro Football Focus recently rated Stone as the top overall safety in the draft. His “football acumen” is what might be raising his stock despite just turning 21 this week.
“I’m not the average 21-year-old. I feel like I am matured way above my years. My football IQ is off the charts…I see things way differently than other people might see it. Whoever gets me…wherever they put me…I am going to be productive wherever I am at.”