Every year it happens to someone and I will still never be able to wrap my mind around it. The NFL Combine is the holy grail of job interviews in all of sports and for guys to show up and test positive knowing they are going to be tested is basically them saying they don’t like money.
Former Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory is being touted as a top ten pick in this year’s draft, but now he is going to have to answer a few more questions about why marijuana was in system when he arrived in Indianapolis.
“I blame myself,” Gregory said. “And I know it sounds cliché, but there’s really no one else I can blame.”
Gregory officially learned of his failed test about two weeks ago, during a phone call with his father. Believing he had received a letter from the NFL inviting him to attend the draft, Gregory asked his father to open the envelope. It wasn’t a draft invitation.
“It said I failed a drug test,” he said.
After absorbing that punch-in-the-gut phone conversation, Gregory knew, perhaps immediately, that his draft stock could be affected.
“Am I worried? Yeah, I’m worried,” he said. “At the same time, I’m confident. I know I’m going to be all right in the end.”
Gregory said he first smoked marijuana after graduating from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., and before enrolling at Arizona Western Community College in 2011. He had failed to qualify academically at Purdue, which represented a considerable disappointment to him, and Gregory said he turned to marijuana to cope with the anxiety.
He sat out the 2012 season with a broken leg but was still pursued by major colleges. In 2013 he transferred to Nebraska, where he officially tested positive for marijuana twice, in January 2014 and April 2014. (Gregory said Nebraska officials told him he would be kicked off the team if he were to fail a third test.)
Gregory said he has not smoked marijuana since December, but because his THC levels were so elevated, the drug remained in his system at the combine. Thus, the positive test.
“I was worse at Nebraska than I’ve ever been at any other time of my life,” Gregory said. “But I know how I am now. I think if teams really look at how I am now more so than the past, they’ll see I’m making strides to get better, as a person and as a player.”
Gregory is adamant that marijuana is the only illegal drug he has ever used.
“I don’t want my career to be defined by the fact that I had failed a drug test or anything of that sort,” Gregory said. “I want people to remember me as that top-10, top-five (draft pick) that had a 10-year career, a number of championships. I want to be known as that guy. I don’t want to be known as a bust or that guy who came in (to the league) with a drug habit.”
Again, Gregory knew that he was going to be tested at the combine. Having flunked two drug test during his time at Nebraska, he is probably aware of how marijuana lingers in your system and that maybe instead of firing up, he should have thought about the consequences that could stem from his decisions.
I don’t think this test is going to ruin Gregory’s stock by any means, but it is just mind numbing how guys could risk losing money out of their pocket just for a high that is temporary.