Brian Quick considers himself a football college player.
A football player.
And no matter how high he can leap to snare a pass, the Appalachian State wide receiver is staying grounded. He is humbled by the prospect that he will be the first FCS player taken in the NFL Draft next month.
"Being noticed definitely is a great feeling, knowing all the hard work is going to pay off soon," Quick said.
"I feel like I'm no lower than anybody else out there. It's just a name, your school. I had opportunities to show who I am, the player I am, my speed. I feel like I'm just as good as those (FBS) guys. I'm no lower than them.
"Those guys are real good. I'm not knocking any guys on the I-AA level; those guys are great. But coming from a smaller school, you know everybody looks down as if we're not just as good. But I had to prove myself and I had to prove other people wrong. I went out there, I wasn't nervous, I wasn't scared, and I feel like I can do the same things that these guys can do. And I went there and proved it."
"There" is the NFL Combine, where Quick built on his performance at the Senior Bowl and solidified a spot in the second or third round of the draft.
A tantalizing prospect for the FCS level, Quick has great physical tools and ever-developing talent.
A 2011 Walter Payton Award finalist for the outstanding player award in the FCS, he puts all 6-foot-4, 220 pounds of his athletic frame, including an 81- inch wingspan, to good use. A former basketball player and high jumper who didn't play high school football until his senior year, he outmuscles and outleaps defensive backs to win one-on-one battles and is a strong downfield blocker.
He finished his career as Appalachian State's all-time leader in receptions (202), receiving yards (3,418) and touchdown catches (31).
"Long, lean, athletic former hoopster loaded with upside and raw physical ability, including tremendous ball skills, elevation and 'above-the-rim' coordination," is how ProFootballWeekly describes Quick.
His route running and speed have been questioned, but Quick has made that the focal points of his training since the end of his senior season.
Blessed with long strides, he unofficially clocked 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (4.55 officially). He also was satisfied with how he expressed his outgoing personality and knowledge of the game to team representatives.
"I'm lucky to be one of the few guys that had the opportunity to be up there. It was a great experience. I've been seeing a lot of teams, going through different medical things, just to make sure everything was OK with me as far as health," said the South Carolina native, who is represented by Pat Dye Jr. of ProFiles Sports in Atlanta.
"Having interviews with other teams, they want to see how much you know about the game."
Quick has relied on former Appalachian State teammates in the NFL such as Dexter Jackson, Armanti Edwards and D.J. Smith to learn about the next level. They stressed the importance of preparation and concentration with all details.
Quick believes he's aced the draft buildup and is ready for the jump to the NFL.
"Those guys definitely let me know what an honor it is to be one of these guys chosen and be recognized as one of the players that they want in the NFL," Quick said.
"It's a great feeling. I worked my tail off to just get where I'm at right now. And it took a lot of help also, but I still worked to get where I am right now. Being from a smaller division, I had to work that much more to get exposure. I have cherished the moments and I'm definitely enjoying the moment right now and continue to grow as a player."