If you haven’t heard already about Ravens fourth-round pick-Indiana WR Tandon Doss, you might soon hear it enough.
Not only did Drew Forrester correctly predict that the Ravens were going to draft the 6’3”, 200-pound Hoosier receiver in this past weekend’s draft, but he also may have been hand-picked for his skills based on the endorsement of one Joe Flacco, the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.
And he joined WNST’s own Nestor Aparicio and Glenn Clark Monday on “The Morning Reaction” to offer his thanks for becoming a Baltimore Raven Saturday, and said that he was honored by the recommendation and selection.
“It’s very humbling,” Doss told Aparicio. “I feel blessed to just to be in this opportunity and I’m just willing to make the most of it. Wherever they need me to make plays, I’m willing to make plays.”
And during his three years at Indiana, he made numerous plays for ex-Indiana coach Bill Lynch.
“He’s an outstanding football player,” Lynch told Rex Snider of “The Afternoon Drive” later on Monday. “Tandon is a great young man, and to watch him develop over his college career-and to now move to play in the National Football League-he really became a great football player and an even better leader on our team.”
Doss finished his career as one of the best for catch passes for the Indiana football team, as he finished his career with 154 receptions(4th best in school history), and seventh best in school history in both receiving yards (1,854) and all-purpose yards (3,786).
His 2010 season equated to 63 receptions for 706 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. This was mostly due to teams trying to take him out of the ballgame after his deadly 2009 campaign in which he earned first-team All-Big Ten status with a 77 catches, 962 yards, five touchdown performance.
He also adds a dynamic element to the Ravens as a kick returner( 2010-his 1,016 kick return yards were fourth-most in Big Ten history). If healthy, he could compete with incumbent David Reed for the KR position as well as offer his skills up as a receiver as well.
But that’s where Doss’ issues lie. And why we fell farther in the draft than those who have the chance to win the college game’s Biletnikoff Award given to the country’s best wideout-
Despite playing in 11 of 12 games in 2010, Doss played with not one-but two sports hernias in his last season in Bloomington.
He had surgery on his groin twice in the off-season and it that prevented him from attending the Combine, individual team workouts, and Indiana’s Pro Day, hurting his draft stock.
On top of not being the best in the business when it came to blazing speed, he saw his name drop to the fourth round, which was discouraging for Doss to say the least.
“Yea, it was a very long weekend,” Doss said. “I kinda new I wasn’t going to be in the first round, but I heard some things about maybe being in the second or third round.”
But the wait lingered.
“And I had a long night Friday afternoon and Friday evening, but you know unfortunately my name wasn’t called so I had to wait until the next morning.”
And now, he’s ready to prove that he was worth not only the endorsement by the Ravens and that he brings value to a Baltimore team selecting him with Saturday’s 123rd pick.
“I’m about to go get the route-stuff down and catch some balls getting ready to go down there,” Doss said.
But he will have to wait until the lockout ends to be able to have a look by the Ravens coaching staff and receive a playbook to get his transition to the NFL started.
Either way, he said he’ll be ready regardless whether he’s at the facility or not.
“They told me to stay in shape,” Doss said. “I need to be able to run all day as soon as I get there and just put on a couple of pounds to bulk up.”
His former coach said that Doss adjusting to the speed of the NFL is not going to be a problem, rest assured.
“I’ll say this for Tandon,” Lynch said. “He came in as a true freshman out of high school, and obviously Big Ten football is is a step-up from high school football. He caught up with the speed real quick, and we played him right away.”
So far, it seems like the coaching staff and the other Ravens players know he will fit right in with what’s going on over at 1 Winning Drive.
His head is certainly in the right place that’s for sure. Unlike a lot of other college juniors looking to go pro this year and forgo their senior seasons because of the expected rookie wage scale, Doss is doing it for another reason.
To support his family.
“That was a major part of my decision to come out early,” Doss said. “My father wasn’t really there growing up. I haven’t heard anything about where he’s at or anything.”
Doss’ mom worked numerous jobs in support of Tandon and his family, and on top of taking care of his schizophrenic brother who the two have supported, Doss said the decision to help her out by leaving school early was all too easy.
“I had to make a decision and come out early to try and support her,” Doss said. “I had to take some of the stress off her shoulders.”
“I love her to death. That’s why I’m doing it.”
With that kind of mindset, Ravens fans will be quick to welcome Doss to Baltimore. That might not be the biggest adjustment Doss has to make.
Dropping his love for his previous loves-the Oakland Raiders and Colts WR Reggie Wayne.
“I actually grew up a Raiders fan,” Doss admitted. “I don’t know how it happened. I always grew up a Raiders fan and I enjoy watching the Colts. They’ve got a great offense.”
He explained why his love for Reggie Wayne is present in the back of his mind.
“Being from Indianapolis and watching a lot of Colts games, Reggie Wayne does it all,” Doss said. “His routes are crisp, he’s always consistent, he has great hands and catches everything so he’s able to separate.”
Clark and Aparicio made quick work of that conversation to make sure he had things on the right track now that he was a Raven.
“I, Tandon Doss, promise that I am not-in any way-a fan of the Indianapolis Colts,” Doss swore.
And with that, Doss was sworn in as a Baltimore Raven. It’s official by WNST-standards.
WNST thanks Tandon Doss for joining “The Morning Reaction”! Be sure to tune into AM 1570 WNST as we welcome your 2011 NFL Draft class to Baltimore the only way we can! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!