PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- Shock Linwood finished as the leading rusher in Baylor history, but his senior season certainly did not go as planned.
He finished No. 2 on the team in rushing behind Terence Williams, was suspended one game for “attitude issues” and elected to sit out the Bears’ Motel 6 Cactus Bowl win over Boise State.
So what happened? Linwood sat down with ESPN.com last week to discuss his rocky senior year, what he learned from it and his NFL aspirations.
What are you hoping to prove at your pro day next week?
Shock Linwood: I want to run 4.3 or low 4.4. A lot of people question my speed and breakaway speed, second-level speed. I just want to pop the eyes out on that aspect of my pro day and my cone drills, receiving drills, running back drills.
You rushed for 751 yards and two touchdowns last year after two 1,000-yard seasons. Did that bug you?
SL: Yes! How can you go from a two-time 1,000-yard leading rusher who’s All-Big 12 to he’s just not in there last year? It bothered me a lot. But then again, Coach KB (Kendal Briles) had his way of running his offense and I couldn’t do anything about it. I’ve just got to continue elevating my game.
Were you frustrated about having to compete with Terence Williams and JaMycal Hasty?
SL: He was just saying that with me having a bad attitude with him, it’s gonna affect my playing time. He’s going to play the younger guys. He didn’t care that he had a fifth-year senior. He was like, ‘If you’re not respecting me, I’m not giving you playing time. You deserve a lot of playing time, but you’re not going to get it if you don’t show me respect.’ That’s how he felt. He was saying I wasn’t being a leader, that I wasn’t holding myself accountable and putting forth the effort like I did in the past.
When you look back on last season, did you have an attitude problem?
SL: Yeah. We argued a few times. It was just the heat of the moment, all the mixed emotions going around that facility. Everybody had attitude. He was just saying my attitude affected my whole team. They were looking for me to lead and take over.
Do you feel like you have a better attitude today? Did you learn from that?
SL: Oh, yeah. Once the season was over, I just had to drop it and know it’s my own time now. I’m not on Coach (Jim) Grobe’s time. I’m not on KB’s time. I’m on Shock’s time. I’ve got a schedule and I have to hold myself accountable. I have to push myself to reach my goals and be the best.
What was it like for you guys when a 6-0 season turns into 7-6?
SL: It was terrible. Everything just went downhill. The quarterback (Seth Russell) got hurt. Freshman quarterback (Zach Smith) had to step in and play a big role. He wasn’t used to being at the college level, with all eyes on him. He has to make everything go correctly, has to look at what the defense is doing and if the offense is set up and go at that fast pace like Baylor does. He wasn’t able to get things rolling like we were before. Zach had to take that role as the next man up in a short amount of time. The other 10 guys on the field needed to step up and help him out.
Why did you skip the bowl game?
SL: The bowl game was just a personal decision for me to just enter the draft and continue to work on my craft and get an agent and move forward, since I wasn’t playing much the past six games.
Were you disappointed you weren’t invited to the NFL combine?
SL: Yeah, a lot. I know whenever I was back at home, my brothers and I were talking and discussing a few running backs that went to the combine and their style and their stats and stuff. When you compare the stats, they’re just the same. They had more carries than me, but the rushing yards and stuff are equivalent. They’re not that far from me.
What do you want to tell NFL scouts about your senior season and your career at Baylor?
SL: I mean, it’s been one hell of a career. From 2012 to 2017, I was one of the best players on that team. I have a resume that will speak for itself. I have film that speaks for itself. I have other people to speak for me. For myself, on pro day, I want to make that known.