Emotional stories surface at Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine is in full gear at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and for the players who have been invited to participate this year, that means they will be evaluated on everything, from their 40-yard dash time to how they answer questions in interviews with teams.

The running backs are among the positions getting an early start, and two who left school early to apply for the NFL Draft shared their reasons why.

  • Tough times: Making the decision to declare for the NFL Draft early is never an easy one, but for Auburn running back Peyton Barber it made complete sense.

Barber, who is taking part in the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this week, revealed he made the decision because of tough times with his family.

"My mother is homeless right now," said Barber. "Right now she's staying with my sister. It's her and her three kids staying in an apartment back home. This isn't her first rodeo at being homeless. I was homeless from the time I was 7 to 14. It's nothing new. It's just a little bump in the road for us. I'll overcome it.

"She really just asks me if I'm okay and how I'm doing. She never pressured me to do anything. I just decided to do what's best for me and my family. It's just a little bump in the road for us. We'll overcome it."

  • Early dismissal: Another running back that left school early for the draft is Indiana's Jordan Howard, who is listed by some as one of the top five backs in this year's NFL Draft.

"I felt like I was ready," said Howard. "I felt like I had matured enough to play in the NFL. I was ready for the next challenge and I know I was getting close to almost 800 carries in my career and running backs don't have that long of a life span.

"I talked to my mom and my position coach. He was just giving me information. And I talked to my uncle. They were telling me they would just support whatever decision I would make."

The 2016 Steelers Fan Blitz presented by Xfinity will be held at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 30. For ticket information and details click on Steelers Fan Blitz.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.