He stood behind a pickup truck, his friends shouting, a video camera running, and for a moment, it occurred to Keith Eloi that this stunt of jumping from the ground into the back of the truck for the purposes of posting the feat on YouTube might not be the smartest thing he had ever attempted. What if he couldn't clear the upright tailgate? What if he fell? The camera would still be recording and what would everyone say?
"I was definitely not trying to look like a fool," the Redskins wide receiver said yesterday afternoon, with a mournful shake of his head. "Instead of, 'Oh, wow, that's the guy who jumped in the truck' it would be 'Oh . . . he beat up his face right before his pro day.' "
But desperation can make a young athlete do a lot of mindless things in the name of getting noticed and after a San Jose State defensive tackle named Jarron Gilbert gained instant fame before this spring's draft by posting a video of himself leaping from a swimming pool, the players working out with Eloi suggested he do something to show off his vertical leap, which has been measured at 44 inches. Given that the football world knew almost nothing about Eloi, who toiled at Division II Nebraska-Omaha, it seemed perfectly logical to be standing in a parking lot in Katy, Tex., about to jump into the back of a pickup truck while a friend shouted: "Dude that jumped out of the pool got nothing on my dog! That's fake; this is real!"