Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur, Son of an NFL Head Coach, Chasing His Own Dream at NFL Combine

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INDIANAPOLIS – Yes, Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur has met with the New York Giants here at the NFL Combine.

But that shouldn't be considered breaking news, considering his father, Pat, is the team's head football coach.

"I saw him for a minute, which was pretty cool," Kyle Shurmur said of his father, smiling. "He came up and gave me like a hug, bro hug, whatever you call it."

It was obvious something was unique the moment Kyle Shurmur walked into the interview room at the Indiana Convention Center here on Thursday. Before sitting down at a table surrounded by reporters, Shurmur looked around and shook one hand after another. Most of the reporters waiting, of course, covered his dad's football teams, either in New York or at his previous NFL coaching stops in Minnesota or Philadelphia or Cleveland or St. Louis.

Then, Shumur answered one question after another about being a coach's son, how crazy it would be to be picked by the Giants, and him following his own NFL dream.

"I'd be grateful for any opportunity I get," Shurmur said. "Wherever that is, whether it's the Giants or 31 other teams."

As a coach's son, Shurmur grew up around football.

He used to throw passes with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, and spent time around NFL quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden and others, too.

At an early age, Pat Shurmur gave Kyle some football advice without advising him to play quarterback.

"Growing up, make sure you play a position where your hand is not in the ground," Kyle said. "It sort of gravitated toward quarterback."

But he leaned on his father's influence on other things.

"My dad, everyone thinks he wants me to be a great quarterback," Shurmur said. "I think he wants me to be a great person first and foremost. And I think that's a foundation for a great quarterback. I think establishing my morals and just being a father first, he's been a great father my whole life. That is really the foundation of it."

At Vanderbilt, Kyle Shurmur was a four-year starter who finished his career with 8,865 passing yards and 64 touchdown passes.

In 2018, Shurmur put together one of the finest seasons ever by a Commodore quarterback, and in the process became Vanderbilt's all-time leader in virtually every passing category. As a senior, he completed 254-of-406 passes for 3,130 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Shurmur finished the regular season by earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors after completing 31-of-35 for 367 yards and three touchdowns to lead Vanderbilt to its third straight win over Tennessee.

Of course, Pat Shurmur was asked about him here this week.

"The Vanderbilt quarterback," Pat Shurmur said in a matter-of-fact tone when asked about Kyle. "Well, I'm extremely proud of him. He's made great decisions. He did an excellent job in high school giving himself the opportunity to go to a place like Vanderbilt. He graduated in three and a half years. Helped them win games. He's a good player."

Things weren't always smooth at Vanderbilt.

Like the team, he had some ups and downs on the field.

He'd talk to his dad on the phone, while his mom, Jennifer, shot him straight, face-to-face.

"After the Tennessee State game this year, I threw two picks early on and she's like, 'Man, Kyle, you really sucked in the beginning'," Shurmur said with a smile. "My mom is my harshest critic, but she's my biggest fan at the same time. And she really is the glue to our whole family."

Looking back, Shurmur said he loved his time at Vanderbilt.

"Day in and day out we were competing, Monday through Friday it was against the best students in the country and then on Saturday, the SEC, we were competing against the best players in the country in football. Every day you really had to be on there in every aspect of your life," Shurmur said. " It was a great experience. It's changed my life for the better."

Now, he's ready to take the next step – and join his father in the National Football League.

Here at the NFL Combine, Shurmur said he wants to show he's an accurate passer, has football intelligence, is committed, and he's more athletic than some might think.

In April, he hopes to take that first step by hearing his name called in the NFL Draft.

"I think it's a really deep quarterback class, but at the end of the day there's a bunch of great quarterbacks, but I'm here to focus on what I can do to present myself in the best way possible," Shurmur said.

"I've got a great opportunity right now and obviously (playing in the NFL) would be amazing. It's been my dream my whole life."

Titans GM Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel speak with reporters at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Photos: AP, NFL)

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