KING OF PRUSSIA, Penn. – Mitchell Trubisky slept as his car sped west on I-76.
Awaiting him here was yet another wave of questions.
One was about his favorite NFL team. Another on how he has stayed so spry in spite of a hectic schedule.
“I like Red Bull, and it has been a long day,” Trubisky told the crowd, “so I needed a little extra juice.”
The collection of about 35 mostly blinked. They were elementary school kids at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store at the King of Prussia Mall. The joke, perhaps, went over their heads, but forgive Trubisky for not connecting. Long day, indeed.
This is how the former North Carolina quarterback, and one of the top available players in the NFL draft spent his last day before becoming a professional athlete.
He woke up just after sunrise to attend a breakfast for prospects to meet NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at 8 a.m.
He attended a Play 60 event at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in North Philadelphia at 10 a.m. A 30-minute media session preceded a period of the same length of tossing foam footballs to kids.
He had lunch.
He went to a Procter & Gamble suite for an event with Gillette in which he had his face shaved and did numerous one-on-one interviews for two-and-a-half hours.
He rested for 20 minutes.
He conducted phone interviews with various radio stations from 3:50 p.m. to 5 p.m.
And now this event, in which he partnered with Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles to sign about 125 autographs for fans who lined up outside the store on behalf of New Era. He left the store at 8:26 p.m.
Then, he was headed to dinner with the rest of the prospects from Rep 1 Sports – the agency that represents him – who are also in town.
And he’ll try to stay off of his phone. Earlier in the day, one of Trubisky’s younger brothers scrolled on Twitter and saw something an NFL Network reporter shared.
Did you see this?
Trubisky tried to snatch the phone. Nima Zarrabi, the director of marketing and public relations at Rep 1 has temporarily sequestered Trubisky’s phone, in large part, to free him from the distractions that bubble this close to the draft.
“Social media is not my friend right now,” Trubisky told USA TODAY Sports in an interview. “You’ve got people saying a bunch of negative stuff, so I just sta.y away from that and stay true to who I am. And watch a lot of Netflix.”
Before the NFL scouting combine, Trubisky was just starting Ballers, the HBO series. He breezed through the first season, awaits the release of the second, and has moved on to another HBO show.
“There are eight seasons of Entourage,” Trubisky said. “I’m on Season Eight right now.”
This is a snapshot of life as an NFL prospect. It’s a four-month job interview that can frustrate, reward, motivate, and madden. The end result, however, is always the same. Players surrender control over their future. So that’s why prospects think of damn near anything to get their minds off of football.
Now, though, the last big decision is a simpler one.
He’s between three suits for his grand appearance Thursday night in the green room, as television cameras will track his every move in the first round of the NFL draft, something he called a “spectacle.” But it’s one he gladly accepted.
“I think the one I’m leaning towards is a grey Armani suit with some black shoes,” Trubisky said. “I’ve got a nice tie. I’ve got a little hint of Carolina blue in it. I’ve got to rep the school and it’s looking fresh.”
Most projections have Trubisky hearing his name called early in the first round -- perhaps the first quarterback taken But that’s never a sure thing.
This is a change for Trubisky. A self-diagnosed control freak who likes to plan everything in advance, Trubisky now risks the potential for public humiliation if he slides down the draft board. Trubisky, however, knows there is nothing he can do. Almost nothing.
“Just wait,” Trubisky said. “Just wait and be patient. I’m at peace because I know I’ve done everything I can possibly do to put myself in the positon today, so I have no regrets. I’m at peace and I know I’m going to end up in the right spot where God wants me to be.”
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes