Former Bulldogs show off skills to scouts
More than fifteen years of dedication for a passion can be extended or diminished in one workout by fractions of a second.
Twenty-nine former Tech football players arrived at Joe Aillet Stadium Tuesday morning with the same aspiration, to continue playing the game of football.
These former Tech players attended Tech’s annual “pro day.” NFL scouts from over 20 teams were present to oversee Tech’s former talents.
There are some talented kids coming out of Tech’s program and it showed both throughout the 2012 season as well as at this event today, associate director of media relations Patrick Walsh said.
“To have so many scouts come out to want to see what our kids can do is incredible,” Walsh said.
The scouts started the day measuring the height and weight of all prospects participating, followed by their hand and wingspan measurements.
Damon Harrington, strength and conditioning coach, oversaw the entire event in the weight room and on the game field.
Following the measurements the players were allowed a short time to warm up before the actual drills began Harrington said.
“The first three drills: vertical jump, standing long jump and bench press, took place in the weight room,” Harrington said.
Former Tech wide receiver Myles White, said that Ray Holley [former Tech running back] stole the show.
Holley muscled out 27 reps on the bench press test and jumped a 41” vertical.
“I was excited about my results,” said Holley. “You always want to be able to do more, but I think all my training paid off well for me.”
Following the tests inside the weight room, the prospects funneled out to the turf to perform more drills the scouts wanted to evaluate.
The first test to be evaluated by the NFL scouts outside was the 40-yard dash. The players were tested in alphabetical order Harrington said.
Top performers were wide receivers Quinton Patton and Myles White, who both were able to run unofficial 4.4’s. Patton recorded an unofficial 4.47 and White ran an unofficial 4.44, Harrington said.
Following the forty, the prospects were split into two groups. One performed the pro-agility shuttle, while the other group performed the L-drill. The 60-yard shuttle concluded standardized testing by the scouts.
Malon Lee, a Baton Rouge native and former Tech running back, said he was fortunate to be able to participate in the event.
“It is a true humble blessing because a lot of people would kill to be in my position,” said Lee. “A lot of guys never get the chance to participate in D1 athletics and I’ve been humbled through this entire process.”
The prospects were then able to participate in “position-specific” drills to conclude Pro Day.
Colby Cameron, 2012 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, said the day was surreal.
“It’s weird waking up knowing that this day could possibly be the last day throwing to the guys you’ve thrown to the last five years,” said Cameron. “I was just anxious to display my talent that I’ve been given, but it’s bittersweet knowing that it’s the end for me at Tech. Time flies.”
Patton has talked to almost all the NFL teams thus far, he said.
“They’ve all told me really the same thing, I just want to compete at the next level,” Patton said. “I didn’t have to work out today, but I’m not that type of athlete I love to compete.”
Another top NFL prospect from Tech is Jordan Mills, an offensive lineman who was content with his performance.
“I did well getting work in with the Jets offensive line coaches,” Mills said. “As a player I’m a leader, I’m humbled and I will fight every play to the end.”
Holley said he was excited to be able to improve on all his initial numbers from the start of his training.
“It’s no surprise to me because there’s never been a day in my life where I didn’t believe I had a chance; that’s part of being a competitor,” Holley said. “Today was confirmation that I might get a shot at the NFL, and those dreams could become a reality for me to continue to pursue my passion.”
Although the day was a closure for many former Tech athletes at this venue, the mood was not “it’s over,” it is “what’s next?”
“I’m not happy to leave, but when it’s time, it’s time,” Holley said. “In life, sometimes you just have to accept it, embrace it and go get it.”
Email comments to phh...@latech.edu.