Spain: Badalona Dracs QB Kevin Doyle ‘s unforgettable whirlwind trip from Barcelona to Arizona’s Pro Day

It was a whirlwind of a week for Badalona Dracs quarterback Kevin Doyle, who traveled half the world and back again just for a shot at further pursuing his childhood dream of one day playing in the NFL.

The idea sprouted back on March 9 while he was relaxing at his apartment in Badalona, Spain, just across the street from the Dracs’ Montigalà practice field. Thanks to remaining in touch with the right people, he learned about the University of Arizona’s Pro Day and that there was a potential need for a quarterback to participate.

“With your blessing, I would love to come participate in the Pro Day,” Doyle texted Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch that Friday.

On Sunday, Fisch responded that as long as the university athletic department’s compliance office as well as the NFL approved, he could come if he was in Tucson. That was all he needed to hear.

That very night, Doyle booked his plane tickets for the next day and at 5:30 pm on Monday afternoon he was on a train to Madrid, where he spent the night at the airport. From there he flew to Arizona with stops in Paris, France, and Atlanta, Georgia. He finally arrived at 10:30 pm Tuesday evening.

“It was just about 27 hours worth of travel each way just for the Pro Day and the opportunity,” Doyle said. “I didn’t even get told confirmation that I could come, I just said ‘I’m on my way, see you when I get there.’”

According to NFL rules, players only receive one Pro Day. Doyle never had his when he graduated from the University of Arizona and because he never transferred, he was still eligible to participate in one this Match.

Unfortunately, there was a catch, something Doyle didn’t find out about until he arrived in Arizona. Due to his professional experience in Europe over the past several years, he isn’t eligible to be drafted and therefore couldn’t participate in some of the specific quarterback drills.

In place of running the 40-yard sprints or shuttle drills, Doyle helped throw during cornerback drills and still found a way to draw scout’s eyes when there was a break in the action. At one point, he got on his knees on the goal line and started throwing the ball over 50 yards, which caused several heads to turn.

“Wow, I haven’t seen somebody do that since you did that when you were here,” a former coach exclaimed.

While he couldn’t fully workout, many of the benefits that made returning to Arizona for such a brief duration came off the field. NFL scouts from a majority of the league’s 32 teams watched him throw in person rather than over a YouTube stream. Doyle also connected with several scouts, most of whom knew his story and what it took for him to be in Tucson that morning.

“I knew that if I showed up, they weren’t going to say no,” Doyle said. “Sure enough, they didn’t. They could have completely kicked me out, but I was able to do everything I could. There were things up in the air, but I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime and one I have to take advantage of.”

Another benefit? Doyle finally received his official measurements. He even learned that his hand size of 10 inches by 10 and ⅞ inches would rank in the top percentile of active NFL quarterbacks today.

“Those are my numbers for life now, they’re locked in,” Doyle said. “Now if my name comes up in conversations among NFL scouts, I’m in their database now. They can look me up and know I had a Pro Day at Arizona. They have measurables on me, I’m not a ghost anymore, I’m a legit free agent.”

During his time in Arizona, Doyle reflected on the two years that have passed since he graduated college and began his professional football career. Several former coaches at Arizona who worked with him when he was a young college kid pointed out his developed maturity, something he believe came about thanks to his time in Europe

“I believe that me going back [to Arizona] was also for my own personal development,” Doyle said. “Both myself and other people were able to see the growth that I have had and how I have matured now that I’m 23 and not 21.”

Doyle did all he possibly could while back in the city he called home for several years. He stayed at a friend’s house, met with former coaches, introduced himself to new faces and got to take in a spring practice as well as see all the new facilities.

After Pro Day finished around 11 am on Thursday, he enjoyed one last night at home before beginning his journey back to Spain at 6 the next morning, flying through Atlanta and New York City to Madrid and stepping off the metro in Badalona around 3 pm on Saturday.

“It takes guts to do what you just did,” one of Doyle’s friends commented when he was back home. “You went to Europe and didn’t know Spanish. Then to leave on a dime to come to America because you think you might be able to participate in Pro Day? You did all of that? Wow.”

Photos courtesy Kevin Doyle.