“I wanna play against the best in the world. I wanna be tested. I’ve always wanted to be tested my whole life. I’ve always been the underdog.”
Geno Stone is used to being doubted, so questioning his choice to leave Iowa for the NFL is nothing new.
“I mean I never regretted the decision,” Stone said. “I feel like I made the best decision for myself. I feel like I’m gonna have a great career in the NFL.”
Stone took advice from everywhere.
“Most of the people I talked to, they never told me to stay, they never told me to go,” Stone said.
But ultimately followed his heart for a shot in the pros.
“I mean, I always thought I was gonna be here, but to be here now is surreal,” Stone said.
Stone’s path from unheralded recruit at Iowa to the NFL Combine is nearly identical to Amani Hooker’s. That’s not as surprising as you might think, considering the tightness between the two former Hawkeyes.
“That’s my boy,” Stone said. “I’ve been close ever since I stepped on campus with him. I spend a lot of days in the film room with him, spent a lot of days with him overall, talking about life and football. We have a pretty close relationship.”
He’s now tasked with trying to outshine Hooker’s combine performance here in Indianapolis.
The Draft Network’s Jordan Reid says stone possesses the tools to play in the league.
“He’s kind of the least talked about of the bunch, I think, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes one of the better ones,” Reid said. “I think he’s very underrated at that spot that he’s been playing in. I love everything that he brings to the table.”
“I’m ready to go compete,” Stone said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m ready to prove a lot of people wrong. I’m ready to prove to people what I can do in the skill position drills. I mean I feel like everytime I step on the field I’m a dog. That’s my mentality.”
Right now Stone is projected to be a late-round pick in April’s NFL Draft. if Stone hears his name called, that will make it four years in a row that a Hawkeye defensive back is taken.
For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and sign up for our HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season.