As a member of the Cleveland Browns, the former Etowah football standout knows something about working out.
A fifth-round selection out of Chattanooga in the 2011 NFL draft, Skrine participated in the league’s draft combine that year and was named to the 2011 NFL Combine Team for his outstanding performance. He posted the top time in the 40-yard dash (4.29 seconds) and finished in the top five in each of the six testing categories.
Skrine, who graduated from Etowah in 2007, said he has always been small for a football player, but he has compensated by working hard. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound defensive back said his high work ethic has helped make up for his lack of size
“I feel that my work ethic has helped me get over some hurdles,” Skrine said. “It has gotten me where I am now.”
Skrine, who conducts individual as well as group and team training workouts during the NFL offseason, wants everyone to hear his message about staying fit.
According to his website — skrineprospeed.com — he wants to teach other people the best way to work out and get the most out their bodies. While many of his workouts are geared toward high school and college athletes trying to take their game to the next level, Skrine said he works with people from various walks of life.
“It’s for all athletes, not just football players or anything,” he said. “I want all high school athletes to have a chance to play in college. I also do personal training for people who just want to get in shape.
“I just encourage everyone to work out and take care of their health.”
The growing obesity rate in the United States is what first caught Skrine’s attention. He does not operate a facility, but rather travels to where people already are.
“I have enjoyed the people that I meet and helping them make themselves better,” Skrine said. “I like to see people reach their goals, and a lot of people’s goals when the new year starts is to lose this amount of weight or get toned. It was something that I enjoy doing myself, and I decided to help other people do it. I want to pass it on to everybody else.”
Skrine says he works out for three hours per day, six days a week. He does a variety of activities, from strength and speed training to yoga and pool therapy.
“I’ve always been serious about working out, even when I was in high school,” he said. “I’m not a bragger or anything, but I have always gotten awards for the hardest-working player on the team, even playing in the NFL. It’s always something I have been passionate about. I believe, if you are going to do something, you might as well do it right.”
When Skrine was a junior in college, pro scouts began taking looks at him. That is when he first realized that playing in the NFL was a possibility for him.
After getting drafted by the Browns in the fifth round, Skrine battled for playing time as a rookie, but began to find his place on the team during his second season in Cleveland. As a cornerback, he started six games this past season, contributing 85 tackles, as well as a fumble recovery in the Browns’ Week 12 victory over Pittsburgh.
Skrine said his NFL experience has been pretty much what he expected, and that he has been embraced by his teammates.
“The competition is high, like I expected,” he said. “Everything about the NFL, I love.
“I came in and had a veteran corner, Sheldon Brown, in my spot, and he pretty much taught me most of the things I know now and corrected my mistakes without me having to ask all the time.”
Skrine would like to be named an All-Pro and play in a Pro Bowl before his time in the NFL is over.
“For all my goals, I set the sky as the limit,” he said. “My second year playing, and my playing time increased significantly. I feel like next year will only be better.”
Skrine said that if he were giving advice to any high school student — athlete or not — it would be the same.
“If you have a dream, stick with it and don’t let people tell you what you can and cannot do,” he said. “Coming out of Etowah at 140 pounds, people said I was too small and not big enough, and all that, but I stuck with what I believed in, and it has gotten me where I am today.”