Nevada’s Strong still has 2 favorite targets in the Senior Bowl


National Team tight end Cole Turner of Nevada performs a drill during practice for the Senior Bowl football game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Mobile, Alabama. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)


Nevada quarterback Carson Strong had one more week to throw passes to his favorite receivers, who also happened to be his college roommates.

Wolf Pack quarterback, wide receiver Romeo Doubs and tight end Cole Turner are teaming up for Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Now they do it in front of NFL coaches and team officials. They split the moments between endless streams of meetings and job interviews, trying to improve their stock ahead of the NFL Draft in April.

“None of us were the most recruited guys,” Strong said. “We all developed to get here. We’re all balloons, that’s all we care about and that’s why we’re here. That’s how we got into this position, we just worked for four years and got better over time.

And they did it, like many other things, together. The trio lived together from day one through their final seasons in Nevada, moving from a dorm to an apartment.

The chemistry spilled over into the field.

Strong, two-time Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, just found himself in the room with his top targets who have become two of his closest friends.

They played many Madden games in their early years and got together in the movie theater for countless hours later in their careers.

“We always gravitated toward each other,” Turner said. “The kind of guy with always the same goal that we wanted to keep playing.

“We’re all pretty laid back, laid back guys. We never really argued. We always got along well.

Fort, he said, was the messier, and Doubs was the messier roommate.

The quarterback was a two-time Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, leading the league with 4,175 yards and 36 touchdowns last season. Strong played despite knee surgery last February in what was supposed to be a year-long recovery process.

He wore a knee brace most of the season and said while watching a movie that he looked like “a statue” without the full mobility.

“During the season I was just dealing with inflammation issues and my leg was starting to swell up,” Strong said. “It just wasn’t quite ready. But it was out of the question that I did not play the season.

“As the year progressed, I got better. I feel comfortable right now without her. I still get my feet under me right now. It’s better, but I feel good.

The other quarterbacks were mostly throwing to new receivers in practice starting Tuesday. Not Strong, who knows Turner and Doubs intimately on the pitch.

The Doubs caught 80 passes for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Turner drove in for 677 yards and 10 touchdowns on 62 receptions.

The 6-foot-6, 246-pound Turner gave a professional scouting report on his teammates and himself:

— “I think Carson plays with the confidence and arrogance that a quarterback needs,” Turner said. “It’s kind of something you can’t really teach. You either have it or you don’t. He has it, that’s for sure.

— “Romeo is just a freak of nature. He has 6-2 and moves like a guy who has 5-9. He can run alongside you. He stops in the blink of an eye.”

— “I think I’m versatile. I can do a lot of different things. I’m someone who’s going to go in the middle and make hard holds, be a threat in the red zone, go down with the high balls. Go for it and block and shuffle too.”

Now they’re trying to validate those glowing reports for NFL teams while enjoying what is likely their last game week as teammates.

“It’s a great feeling that Carson is throwing me one last time,” Doubs said. “It’s a great opportunity to reunite with the guys. I think the chemistry between the three of us was very big and important throughout the season.


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