Those whispers turned into a collective gasp when Rouse's measurements were announced to a room full of NFL scouts and media. Rouse was measured in at just 5-foot-5 186-pounds.
"I didn't have my cleats on," Rouse said after practice with a smile. "With my cleats on I'm definitely over 5-foot-6."
In a game of inches, Rouse will be the first to tell you his height doesn't measure his strength or determination on the field.
"I've always been the smallest on my team," he said. "I don't let it get to me and I come out and play just as big as anyone else."
Rouse quickly points to the success of smaller backs already in the NFL, including Darren Sproles and Ray Rice. Just a week before the Senior Bowl the nation watched as Atlanta Falcon Jacquizz Rodgers helped run his team to the NFC Championship game. Rodgers is listed at 5-foot-6.
"Nowadays, some of the best players are smaller guys," Rouse said. "I idolize those guys and try to perfect my game off them."
Rouse is currently projected as a sixth round pick.