Team concept always comes first — even in Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. — From a fan’s perspective, it seems like it could be difficult for players to function as a team at the Senior Bowl. After all, many of the participants were either fierce rivals or played high-stakes games against each other in college, not to mention that they are here competing against one another for draft position and potentially millions of dollars.

Oddly enough, however, that’s not how it works. Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael covered Boise State receiver Titus Young in the Hokies’ heartbreaking loss to the Broncos to open the season, but he said there was nothing but mutual respect between the two.

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who helped the Wolfpack knock Boise State and two of his North team receivers (Young and Austin Pettis) out of the BCS picture, echoed those sentiments, saying that game was in the past and they are working toward their NFL dreams together now.

And while it is no doubt jarring for many fans to watch linemen from Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama blocking side-by-side, and a Washington Huskies quarterback throwing to a Southern California Trojan, that’s just not how the players see it.

Whenever you talk to them, it becomes clear that the notion of team is so ingrained in their psyche, that the fact they used to be rivals or are currently battling for draft position makes no difference. For this week, they are all either North or South, and those are their teammates.

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