You can ask Dolphins fifth-round pick Bobby McCain about his size or lack thereof. McCain’s secure enough in his cornerback abilities to talk about it. He knows people will ask. You know who McCain said didn’t ask him about being 5-9 (officially)?
“I don’t see it as a challenge at all,” McCain said of his height. “I see it as, you go out every day, you compete, hard. Somebody’s 6-5, somebody’s 5-10. The next man’s in front of you and it’s your job to win.”
Maybe they didn’t ask at the NFL Scouting Combine because a 36-inch vertical jump, to which McCain elevated during the February session in Indianapolis, puts a few inches of height on anyone. You can get testimony on that from Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who saw a touchdown pass to skyscraper Calvin Johnson stolen by flying diminutive Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes last year.
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McCain names Grimes and now-retired Cortland Finnegan as two of his cornerback role models.
Learning the game
“They’re not the tallest, not the fastest, but they play really hard, they play really competitive and they’re really smart on the field,” he said.
After being drafted by the Dolphins, McCain said he met Grimes briefly.
“I can’t wait to get in the meeting room, get in the locker room just learn from him. He’s one of the best corners I’ve seen. I’m excited to get to play with him.”
Or, maybe nobody asked McCain about life at 5-9 because, well, roll the video from his four years at Memphis and pull out the numbers.
He played cornerback and nickelback, press coverage and off coverage at both positions.
“Over 40 starts, 12 interceptions [in his college career], can play inside, can play outside for us,” Dolphins assistant general manager Eric Stokes said. “He can come in to do a little bit of nickel and play a little bit on the outside, obviously give us something on special teams.”
As a junior, a knee injury limited McCain to only nine games, but didn’t limit his effectiveness as he picked off six passes and returned two for touchdowns. He came back as a senior with five interceptions in 13 games, including one in the wild 55-48 Miami Beach Bowl double-overtime win against BYU.
As for where he was during the brawl following teammate DaShaughn Terry’s game-ending interception, McCain is visible on the ESPN cameras near a scrum, although it’s unclear how he got there or if he does anything before being pulled back.
“I was celebrating with the guys about the interception for a little while, then things got crazy, and I got lost myself,” he said during his post-draft conference call with South Florida media.
“I don’t know. I was kind of in the back floating. I was kind of helping some of the guys just separating and then I kind of got pushed over to the back by some of the guys, but I don’t know.”
The Miami Beach Bowl trip introduced McCain to Miami, although he’s not crazy about going into the ocean. He says he can swim. What bothers him is all that’s swimming around beneath your visual depth.
Ready for Miami
“There’s so much to do in Miami,” he said. “People say you can get in trouble in Miami. Not if you’ve got your head on straight, got your priorities right, you’ll be fine.”
McCain, who graduated from Memphis with a degree in Sports and Leisure Management, credits his priorities being in order to parents Bernard and Tosha Lawler.
“I’m an only child,” he said. “They did everything they could for me and I really appreciate them. They put me in the position I’m in today.”