MOBILE, Ala. — Corn Elder walked through the lobby of the Mobile Renaissance Hotel here on Monday afternoon, and found himself surrounded by NFL logos.
Elder, a former Ensworth High star who played cornerback at Miami, felt like a kid in a candy store at the start of Senior Bowl week.
"Right now it is a little crazy,'' Elder said with a smile. "With all the meetings and all the different tests, it is cool. It is a neat experience for sure.
"This is what you work for. Ever since I was growing up and started playing football, something I always wanted to do is go to the NFL. So this is my chance to show I belong."
Senior Bowl practices begin here on Tuesday. On Monday, 109 of the 110 players scheduled to take part in practices had already checked in, and started taking physicals. Representatives from all 32 teams are on hand, including the Titans.
Elder, who grew up in Murfreesboro and went to Ensworth in Nashville, started all 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2016. He tied for third on the team with 76 tackles, and led the Hurricanes in pass breakups for the second straight year (12). He added 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks while finishing with one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
At the Senior Bowl, he'll be on the field with college football's best seniors, including some currently ranked higher than him in the eyes of some draft analysts.
"I just want to show that I can compete with any corner in the country,'' Elder said. "I feel I had a pretty good season and this is another audition for me to show what I can do."
Elder (5-10, 180) said he grew up a Titans fan, and would love to stay home and play for his hometown team. The Titans are expected to pursue players in the secondary in free agency and the draft, but Titans general manager Jon Robinson isn't about to tip his hand on players he might like.
Elder's goal is to make a good showing for all 32 teams, and he hopes the Titans notice. He'll be on the South team, where he'll be teammates with another Ensworth product in UCLA offensive lineman Conor McDermott.
Elder rushed for 6,351 rushing yards and 84 touchdowns while leading Ensworth to three straight Division II-AA state title.
"I'm a Titans fan, so it would definitely be crazy if that could happen,'' Elder said. "It's something I would definitely enjoy, playing in front of my hometown. It's something I've always dreamed of.
"Everyone back home has been texting me and seeing how I am doing. I just want to have a good week and show that I am here to compete."