UC Davis finished 10-3 last fall after a 5-6 season in 2017 and advanced to the FCS quarterfinals. And after another standout season in which the 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver caught 118 passes for 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns, Doss has positioned himself well for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Projections have him anywhere from a fourth to a seventh-round pick at this point in the draft process.
“I feel like I was just able to develop more as a football player, like playing fast, reading defenses on the fly and my mechanics on the line of scrimmage," Doss told HERO Sports. "I can’t really tell you if my draft stock went up or not, but I feel like I put myself in a position to go higher in the draft. Having that extra year helps with the developmental process.”
Doss' HERO Sports First Team All-American season was a big part of UC Davis' historic year. And now he's putting the program on the national map even more. Doss drew great reviews during Senior Bowl week and caught four passes for 55 yards in the Jan. 26 game. He stood out to many scouts in attendance among Power 5 players.
“I remember at practice a couple times people would come up to me and be like ‘hey what’s that school on your helmet again?’" Doss said. "People just don’t know and I’d say ‘UC Davis.’ So it was cool exposing the school to some national media and get our school out there and get people knowing what we’re about. It was cool to be a part of that and represent the University.”
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Doss said he believes he talked to just about every NFL team that week. And like his mindset of not putting pressure on himself to stand out in practice and to just go out there and do his thing, he let his personality shine and didn't let these mini job interviews rattle him.
"I don’t try to hide anything or say anything out of the ordinary to make me sound good," Doss said. "I just be me and I think being authentic is the best way to present yourself. Going into those meetings, I was confident in my approach and whatnot. It was just a cool experience of sitting down with these guys and explaining my journey and process of getting here.”
The process started in high school for the Alameda, California, native. Doss believed he was a Power 5 talent. But his journey took him to UC Davis, a high-flying offensive team that allowed Doss' talent to shine.
And even though he was looked at as an NFL Draft prospect his entire senior season, Doss still played with a chip on his shoulder.
“For me, it’s when people doubt me," Doss said on what motivates him. "Even to this day, I might see something like just the littlest things man, it really motivates me in the weight room or on the field. I use it to motivate myself and keep pushing myself to be great.”
It's not like Doss is actively searching for the haters on social media. He does get messages from friends and family, though.
“I don’t pay too much attention, but people will message me all the time like ‘oh look what this guy is saying,’" Doss said. "I get it regularly. Some guy will say 'he’s one of the best' and another guy will say 'seventh rounder.' So it’s all over the place. For me, I don’t buy into it too much. I try to focus on myself and get better every day.”
That day-to-day process has Doss training in California right now for the NFL Combine, a big-time invite for any FCS prospect hoping to get drafted. One of the guys Doss gets to train with is T.J. Houshmandzadeh, a former NFL wide receiver.
"There's so much knowledge that he has and just being able to pick his brain about the position has been eye-opening," Doss said. "He knows so much that I feel like I’ve improved my game a lot over these last few weeks."
For someone who finished their collegiate career with 321 catches for 4,069 yards and 28 touchdowns, that should be music to the ears for NFL scouts.
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