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How Seahawks scout Ed Dodds recruited track star Cyril Grayson to Seattle

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Dodds does his homework. The Seahawks senior personnel executive does a lot of the regional college scouting for the front office, including the SEC. “Kinda right down the middle of the country,” explained Dodds in 2016. The name “Ed Dodds” makes me think of a paunchy, middle-aged, southern guy sitting on a porch. Think Wade Phillips, I guess. Instead, Dodds looks more like Matt Hasselbeck, around the same age.

In that same interview, Dodds says, “I like going to Louisiana. It’s fun.” When he’s asked what the best places are to go to, he needs to send a clarification question of, “Well, where are we at?” He knows his shit. He says where his favorite place to go to in New Orleans is, but not Baton Rouge. If the interviewer had said Baton Rouge, he probably would have answered with Roux 61.

After all, that’s where he told LSU track star to meet him on the night before his pro day.

In a Friday MMQB piece on how Grayson became a Seahawk without having to be drafted, we learn a lot about how Dobbs does his homework on players. Dobbs called Grayson the night before the pro day (Grayson could not join the football team without having to give up his track and field scholarship, then begged to be allowed at the pro day after spending all of his money on training for it) and began to dig in his family background. Hate it or ignore it, this is the same digging that Dobbs once did on Frank Clark that eventually gave John Schneider the clearance he felt comfortable with to draft Clark.

There is no checkered past that we know of on Grayson.

After feeling good about the phone call, Dobbs told Grayson to meet him that night at Roux 61, which is also where Grayson had told a friend they would go to celebrate that night anyway.

The place he’d been planning to go to anyway? Grayson saw it as serendipity. “I was like, look at God, man,” he says. “Things are working out for me.”

At the pro day, Grayson ran a 4.33 (not that surprising given he’s a seven-time All-American track star) but also popped off an impressive 10’7 broad jump. He’s small (5’9, 178) but that size is not unprecedented. Rams receiver Tavon Austin was 5’8, 174 when drafted, and he ran a 4.34 with only a 10’ broad. Austin may have been a college football star and Grayson hasn’t played since high school, but one of those guys was a top 10 pick and the other didn’t even need to be added through the draft.

After the pro day, Dodds made sure Grayson was in Seattle the next morning, before any other teams had a chance. And 75 hours after dinner at Roux 61, he was on the Seahawks. He may have not played football in college, but it wasn’t because he wasn’t passionate about it.

“If I wake up and I’m 60 years old and I didn’t go after the NFL, that would be the greatest regret for my whole life. Whatever your dream is, go after it.”

Read the whole article for a better idea on what makes Grayson such an intriguing player for Seattle. Not just because of his athleticism, but also because of his drive. He seems very “Seahawky” to me, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of people rooting for him this fall.

Just like we’ll be keeping a closer eye on what Dodds is doing.