There were moments, as his chest was stuffed with tubes and assistants trailed him with pails to collect the excess blood, when Ryan Schlothauer wondered if he could ever summon the strength to walk again. The former Maryland tight end had acted the good Samaritan at a bar fight in Towson. He had intervened when the argument escalated, according to reports, and look where it landed him. In intensive care, at the Sinai Trauma Center, for six nights with two collapsed lungs.
The immediate goals were minimal in the incident’s wake. But Schlothauer always kept his sights ahead. He wanted something to look forward to.
Something like Pro Day.
On Tuesday morning, Schlothauer returned to the field, bulked up at 270 pounds with 5 percent body fat. As he ran shirtless for the 35 scouts representing 24 teams, he looked like exactly the person you’d want by your side at a bar fight. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 22 times, most out of any Maryland player participating. His vertical leap was 31 inches and his long jump was 9 feet, 2 inches. Times were not released for his 40-yard dash or shuttle runs, but if nothing else Schlothauer certainly looked like his body had returned to peak physical condition.
This was thanks to an army of connections, called upon to help strengthen his lungs after the fateful night last April. He called someone he knew, who worked for Under Armour, and he ran up Federal Hill in Baltimore every day. Another connection landed him with Get Fit, the company with which he trained for Pro Day. Schlothauer never returned to rehabilitate at the hospital. He trusted the training staff at Maryland.
“Not that many get back from that to full health in less than a year,” he said.
His NFL future remains uncertain. His statistics at Maryland were minimal — in three seasons, he caught one pass — but at times turned into a monster on special teams. His professional position does not matter. He just wants a shot. Everything has been put on hold for this. He delayed a position at Lockheed Martin, where he interned, and the collapsed lung precluded him from finishing business school classes in the District because he couldn’t ride the Metro. This was for the best, Schlothauer said. He wanted a clear head.
“I’m still young,” he said. “I’m still ready to play.”
>> More on cornerback Dexter McDougle in tomorrow’s paper, but it was clear most — if not all — of the scouts arrived to check on the status of his once-broken shoulder blade. He impressed in all facets of Pro Day, and said he was clocked at a 4.43-second 40-yard dash on his best attempt. He did not bench press.
“The only thing I told him is just go have fun,” Coach Randy Edsall said. “He’s prepared. He’s done all the hard work. He’s put the time and effort into it. Now it’s just a matter of going out there today and relaxing and enjoying the moment, enjoying the day. Love the kid. He’s bubbly and ready to go. I know he had some good interviews this morning, talking to a couple teams. … This is a job interview for them. What you try to do is make sure the kids understand that they’re prepared before they come into this day.
“The one thing about Dexter, Dexter is going to do great in those interviews. He’s knowledgeable, he’s very personable, he’s well-spoken. That was an advantage for him.”
>> Former Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered in 2012, tied for the second-highest vertical leap at 34 inches and had a broad jump of 10 feet. In late March, he participated in the NFL regional scouting combine at the Baltimore Ravens indoor practice field. He has not currently received any invitations for private visits but plans to continue working out, hoping he gets a call on draft day.
“This is what it is,” Edsall said. “It’s Maryland football. It’s a family.”
>> The other former Terps working out were offensive lineman De’Onte Arnett, defensive back Isaac Goins, long snapper Greg Parcher and linebacker Marcus Whitfield. Tight end Dave Stinebaugh was in attendance, but did not work out due to injury, though he plans to do so next season. Walk-on fullback Carl Buchholz, also a wrestler at Maryland, was listed on the sign-in sheet, but was not there.
“All they have to do is impress one person today,” Edsall said. “You do that, then you’re going to get that opportunity to further your career.”