For the eight Spartan seniors participating at Pro Day this past Friday, March 23rd, the intensity level was high, as it should be expected, though each player handled it differently. Some were cool and collected, some were more animated and others more engaged with the scouts, as they went through the paces of each drill.
The Green Bay scout handled the lineman. New England handled the speed positions and San Francisco worked the linebackers. The other 27 scouts from 24 NFL teams had their quiet intensity about them; including, looking at all else outside the numbers - footwork, peripheral vision, following directions, reaction, interaction, form, etc. Somehow, they must also be measuring intelligence and heart!
- Defensive Back Jermaine Kelly has prototypical NFL DB size. He had a smooth and calm approach to the day and had an impressive and seemingly effortless 4.47 in the 40 yard-dash and a standing 34” vertical leap (almost enough to dunk a basketball from right under the basket for a 6 footer).
- Linebacker Frank Ginda also did very well; going 4.68 in the forty with 30+” on his vertical and almost 30 reps on the 225 lb. (102 kg) bench press. Many were curious how he’d perform after he experienced a serious hit & run car accident just a few days before. Ginda mentioned he had shoulder soreness and wasn’t 100%, but he gritted through the day like a champion. Also though he surprisingly didn’t get an NFL Combine invite, his reputation should far precede him considering what he’s already accomplished and proven on the field.
- DB Andre Chachere only participated in the position drills where he had some drops and missteps, but finished strong with his footwork, reactions and quickness; building upon his showing at the combine. Chachere was the only Spartan invited to the NFL combine a month ago, where he clocked a 4.49 forty, leaped 38” on his vertical and bounded over 10’ in the standing broad-jump.
- DB Maurice McKnight, punter Michael Carrizosa, LB William Ossai, and OL’s Chris Gonzales and Jeremiah Kolone rounded out the others who did well for themselves. Carrizosa averaged over 45 yards per punt, hitting 10 of them for 50+ yards and aiming most of them inside the 25. Gonzales and Kolone showed good footwork and the expected speed for 300+ lb. linemen.
You have to wish the best for anyone of these guys at any Pro Day, so they at least get a chance. Besides the shoe-ins around the country who’ll be drafted, most are done and a new life starts. For others, the passion is undeniable and they’ll continue elsewhere that’s not the NFL. For the players on the NFL consideration-fringes, they’ll hang-on, push and work for a chance to show that their heart and hardcore passion will be the difference to make an NFL roster in any way shape or form.
Spartan Pro Day gallery for the die-hards.