INDIANAPOLIS — Just when Richmond QB Aaron Corp took his seat at table six in the 2012 NFL Combine media room, Stanford QB Andrew Luck entered the room. Luck, of course, was headed to one of the three more prestigious podiums in the room.
There's no question as to which signalcaller the media gravitated to, but Corp didn't mind. He grinned and laughed when asked about the throng around Luck.
"Doesn't matter, doesn't bother me at all," Corp said. "He has deserved his credit."
The transfer quarterback said he feels fortunate just to be invited to the Combine. He wasn't sure he would get that invite, and he knows he could use the opportunity to get his name out.
"Definitely I was excited," Corp said. "I'm just given the opporunity to be put on the big stage. I wasn't sure if I was going to get it or not, but definitely once I got that email, I was really excited."
Unlike many of the top quarterbacks at the Combine who will only be doing partial workouts, Corp will be doing the full workout, and he hopes that with less competition, he'll be given a spotlight under which to shine.
"There will be just more eyes on me because less guys are throwing," Corp said, "so that's what I'm looking for, and if I can have a good showing, that will be to my benefit."
Corp knows what it's like to be under the spotlight. It's just been awhile, that's all. He was a top-100 high school prospect, according to nearly every scouting service, and his arrival at the University of Southern California carried great promise.
Corp attempted just 30 passes in eight games over two seasons played in Los Angeles, despite emerging as the Trojans' starter in 2009 as a result of his mobility and strong performance in spring practice. He lost the starting spot to then-freshman Matt Barkley after fracturing the top of his left fibula in fall camp and served in a backup role all season, playing in three games with one start. After the season he decided to transfer to Richmond.
"Ultimately, I felt like they didn't have me in their plans as far as it came to getting some playing time, so I decided to transfer," Corp said. "I'd say it was experience, game experience, to be on the field and lead my teammates. Like you said, you can't really substitute (for) game experience."
After struggling with injuries in the past, Corp put together a fine senior season, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 2,682 yards. He finished with a QB rating of 129.5, but his 13 interceptions point to potential problems.
Corp is aware of his underdog status coming out of Richmond, as he dangles precariously under Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten quarterbacks, and he acknowledged that his status left him no choice but to participate fully in the Combine.
"In my position, I need to throw," Corp said. "I'm definitely not one of the top names that you hear of, so anytime I can be put out there and show what I can do, the better."
Richmond is not a member of any power conference, of course. The Spiders' best victory in 2011 probably came at Duke. Their most recognizable opponent may well have been Delaware.
But a pipeline has been paved. DB Justin Rogers was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of last year's draft, and DL Martin Parker ended up with the New York Giants. Former Spiders RB Josh Vaughan even picked up seven carries for the Carolina Panthers this past season.
"There are definitely some guys out there from Richmond," Corp said. "I hope I can be the next one."
Corp said he talked with Vaughan during the summer, when the NFL running back was working out at Richmond during the lockout. Corp added that Richmond's pro-style offense, with two running backs and two tight ends, was appealing, in that it made for a smooth transition from USC and, he hopes, will make for a smooth transition into the NFL
First, however, Corp has to make the NFL, and in order to do that, he is under significant pressure to show his chops in Indianapolis.
"Coming from a smaller school like Richmond, we didn't play in a big-time conference or anything like that, so there will be some doubts as far as: 'Did he play at a high enough competition or not,' " Corp said, "So, I guess, putting me next to guys that did do that can show exactly what I can do."