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"I was practicing at my wife’s gym and my high point was 32.5, but today I got 31," Stoner said, smiling.
Stoner was one of a few dozen Colorado-based military members to compete in the "Train Like Bronco" USAA Military Combine at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"It’s awesome," Stoner said of the event. "Very rewarding. We do what we do not expecting the rewards, but when they do stuff like this for us, it’s really nice."
The event was run by Ryan Mullaney, who played college football at the University of Colorado and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and spent six years playing professionally in the NFL and CFL. Mullaney has since started a company called TMB Athletes, which helps kids who are seeking athletic scholarships with their athletic development. When asked by the Broncos to put on this event, the decision was easy.
"All they had to say was ‘military’ for me," Mullaney said. "I have only one regret in my whole life and that’s that I didn’t serve in the military.
"I have a lot of respect for these people and if I can share what I can do for the USAA and the Broncos, for the military, I was excited to do it."
The event included five drills: three-cone drill, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and bench press. Mullaney said he saw several impressive performances, including vertical jumps up to 34 inches, broad jumps up to nine feet, five inches, 40-yard dashes in the 4.7 range and 26 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press.
"A lot of these guys are stronger than they are fast and they’re stronger than they are agile, but they’re all in great shape," Mullaney said. "They’re having no problem with this thing at all. Not like they’re fatigued or anything."
One competitor who put in several impressive performances was Gregory Bennett, who was near the top of the broad and vertical jumps in his group before running a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash. A football player in high school, Bennett said he was a little disappointed with the time after running a laser-timed 4.43 in his junior year of high school, now five years ago.
"I've got to get back in shape," he said, laughing. "I feel blessed because I haven’t been in anything like this before. Me being in the military has given me the opportunity to do that so I’m having a blast."