CENTENNIAL, Colo.—For years, former Colorado State receiver Michael Gallup and former University of Colorado Buffs running back Phillip Lindsay wanted to beat each other on the field, especially in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. But now things have changed as they work together to make their NFL dreams come true, turning former foes on the field into something bigger than the game.
On pretty much any afternoon at Landow Performance you’ll find former college football players from all over trying to get into top shape for the draft.
“Now you have a new team. That new team might be some guys you played against in head-to-head battles, and that person you didn’t like now becomes the person that is spotting you and encouraging you,” said Loren Landow, the head coach at Landow's Performance.
“At first there is some tension, you know, because you come from different schools. Everybody is the best of the best usually, but once you get in here and it’s like being on a team again, you create a brotherhood and a bond.” said Lindsay.
He is a former Buffalo and Gallup a former Ram. They went to rival universities that hated each other come game time. But fast forward a few months later, and the two instate rivals are now training together.
“Since day one me and Lindsay came in here we always clicked, we were kind of like the hype man for the group. We are always in here smiling and laughing, trying to get each other better,” said Gallup.
As you watch them rotate through different drills, you’ll see Phillip and Michael joking around and pushing each other to get stronger and faster.
“That’s all we’ll ever do. If he gets five reps for 225, I’m gonna get six reps for 225, just out here competing with each other.”
These new friends now consider themselves to be on the same team as they work towards the same goal – to make a 53-man roster in the NFL.
“I’ve learned a lot from him so far. When I was at the East-West Shrine game, he was texting me and motivating me, so when he was at the Reese’s Bowl, I was doing the same thing – making sure that we were OK, because sometimes you need that. Because you get down there and you start to feel alone, start to feel like, 'I shouldn't be here,' so it was good to get a text from Mike,” Lindsay said.
Gallup, a Biletnikoff finalist, is projected to go in the early rounds of the draft, and he’s not only working on his fitness, but also his football IQ.
“I don’t want to be cocky or anything like that, but people don’t give me enough credit where it’s due. They like to say, 'You can’t compete with them,' or, 'You’re not good enough, you can’t catch the ball as well,' but I want to go down there and prove that I can compete,” Gallup said.
Lindsay, a Colorado Offensive Player of the Year and Denver native, hopes to inspire other Colorado kids because he wants to prove that becoming a pro athlete isn't all about size and stature.
“Make sure they know as long as you have the heart, the mentality, and just the motor, then anything can happen for you. I’ve been proving people wrong my whole life and I’m going to do that again going to the NFL,” Lindsay said.
As the draft gets closer, both players say they don’t care where they go or who drafts them. All they want is a chance to show they have what it takes to play in the league.