INDIANAPOLIS -- Miguel Maysonet stopped just short of the podium, caught off guard by his less-than-perfect introduction at the media center at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A young woman announced his entrance: "Miguel Maysonet. Stony Brook wide receiver."
An honest mistake, considering the dozens of college football players shuttled daily in and out of the large interview area. But when Maysonet -- a former standout running back for the Seawolves-- took the podium, he again had to explain why he was one of the chosen few.
First came the "where is Stony Brook?" question. That was followed by "what kind of football program do you have there?"
Maysonet smiled wide and said: "We have a great one. Seawolves, baby! You know, I wouldn't be here if I didn't end up going to Stony Brook."
"Is that Division II?" the same reporter asked. "Division I-AA," replied Maysonet, runner-up for the Walter Payton Award as Football Championship Subdivision Player of the Year.
The 5-9, 209-pounder takes the inquiries in stride, knowing it's all a part of his journey to make a name for himself, his hometown of Riverhead and his university. But first he'll have to convince NFLteams that he's worth a draft pick come April.
Though he has chosen to hold off on running the 40-yard dash until his pro day on March 21 at Stony Brook because of a hamstring injury, Maysonet said he'll do agility drills and bench press at this week's combine.
"Things happen for a reason," he said of the injury suffered in January. "When it first happened, I was frustrated because I felt like I was letting all the people down in my hometown that [were] supporting me. I wouldn't be able to compete. But I was able to stay positive about the whole situation and just work my way back to full strength."
When the same reporter theorized that NFL teams would be reluctant to make the trek to Long Island for his pro day, Maysonet said: "I've had 30 of 32 teams come see me during my season, so that shows a lot about me and about my school and about my character and about the way I play football."
So despite his lack of name recognition, Maysonet remains confident about his abilities.
"I have to prove to people that I belong here," he said. " . . . Obviously, they saw something in me, in my game, for them to give me this [combine] opportunity.
"You've got to [have a chip on your shoulder]. Coming out of Stony Brook, they go: 'Stony Brook? Where's that at?' "
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