It is rare for a college football player to get invited to both January’s Senior Bowl in Mobile Ala., and the February’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis, according to former Arundel star Alec Lemon. He remembers telling a close friend that it was his goal to compete in both events, which he did this winter. It was also a means to an end for the Syracuse wide receiver, because the greater goal is to play professionally, which could become a reality after this week’s NFL draft.
“I wanted to be in the Senior Bowl and the combine to get to hear my name drafted,” Lemon said. “I’ve gotten two of those things… hopefully I accomplish the third goal.”
Lemon has been all over the map the past six months preparing for the draft. Aside from Mobile and Indianapolis, he has trained in Arizona, and has visited Syracuse and Maryland in between. This week he’s back home in the Washington area, hoping to be surrounded by family and friends when his name is called later this week.
“If I go, I’ll probably be a Saturday guy,” Lemon said, referring to the final day of the draft which will hold rounds 4-7.
At the NFL combine, Lemon’s numbers weren’t necessarily dazzling; he ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and recorded a 32-inch vertical. But the 6-foot-1, 202-pound wide receiver has been a playmaker at both the high school and college levels. At Arundel, the former first-team All-Met tied the Maryland state record with 103 catches and set state public school record with 23 touchdown catches. He finished with 1,616 yards that season.
After earning his keep early at Syracuse, Lemon went on to a record-braking career for the Orange. He owns Syracuse’s career (202) and single-season receptions (72, in 2012) records, and he is just the third Syracuse receiver to record 1,000 yards receiving in a season. He was a first-team All-Big East pick as a senior.
“It’s been crazy. You know, being in high school at Arundel, you know, just not thinking too much of the future. Your’e just a teenager that’s just playing football to have fun, playing with your boys,” Lemon said. “My first year on varsity is probably when I first realized, you know, I want to take football as far as I can. And hopefully play D-I football, and then hopefully make it to the NFL.”