The University of Northern Colorado football team is hoping to see multiple Bears in the professional leagues next season.
UNC had eight Bears participate in the drills today.
Alex Wesley (Interview Only), Fisayo Awolaja, Trae Riek, Tank Terrell, Isaiah Swopes, Jacob Bobenmoyer, Hakeem Deggs, Zach Wilkinson and Brandon Cartagena were the Bears participants.
Colorado Mesa and Colorado School of Mines players also participated in drills, including Mines star Brody Oliver.
The athletes participated in size measurements, vertical jump, bench press, broad jump, 40-yard dash, three cone drill and position specific drills.
Watching the athletes were friends, family and most importantly, scouts.
In attendance there were 10 NFL scouts and 1 CFL scouts identified.
The NFL teams represented at the Pro Day were from:
- Denver Broncos (Three scouts)
- Cleveland Browns
- Los Angeles Chargers
- New York Giants
- New York Jets
- Green Bay Packers
- New England Patriots
- New Orleans Saints
- Seattle Seahawks
- Oakland Raiders
The Canadian Football League (CFL) representative was from the Edmonton Eskimos.
Overall, the atmosphere was incredibly positive despite the gravity that those report cards could hold.
Especially during the vertical jump and bench press portion, there were tons of shouts of encouragement.
Once the speed and on the field drills started the temperament shifted into a quiet, but anxious vibe as the athletes tried to give their best times.
All of the UNC players showed great poise and discipline as they competed in the drills.
If the numbers are ones the scouts like that could bode well for the Bears.
Coach’s Thoughts on the Day
Head Coach Earnest Collins Jr. took a moment to tell us how proud he was of all of the players involved.
“This is great for us to show the underclassmen what can happen if you work hard. Of course it helps to have a guy like Wesley here, but we are proud of all the guys here today”.
When asked who has improved the most over the off season leading up to today Coach Collins mentioned Fisayo Awolaja and Tank Terrell.
“Fisayo is a big man who can really get moving and same with Tank. After seeing how he can run some teams are interested in what he would look like at fullback”.
Overall, the Bears have a promising future of prospects being able to play in the professional leagues.
The Prospects and Their Futures
Most of the players focus on NFL attention.
Wilkinson is making the most of his Canadian citizenship as he is a Top 20 player for the CFL draft prospects ranking.
Today he gave his 100 percent in every drill solidifying his ranking.
Wilkinson will also perform at the CFL Combine March 22-24.
Mock drafts have Wilkinson going within the first two rounds of the CFL Draft.
The Edmonton Eskimos were in attendance today which have the third and 12th picks in the first two rounds.
Alex Wesley is UNC’s biggest hope for a Bear to be drafted by the NFL.
Wesley has participated in the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and performed at CU’s Pro Day yesterday.
The NFL mock drafts have Wesley going as early as the sixth round.
Jacob Bobenmoyer is another direct NFL hopeful.
He played in the NFLPA Bowl and is a top five long snapper according to some position experts.
To be drafted as a long snapper is a long shot.
A positive sign was that Bobenmoyer and a snapper from Colorado Mesa spent nearly an hour doing snaps and footwork with a scout from Denver.
This does not directly mean anything, but that much attention as a long snapper is uplifting.
On each NFL roster there is only one to two long snappers per team.
Bobenmoyer’s talents are not going unnoticed and he could end up being a candidate for an undrafted free agent contract (UFA).
UFA contracts open immediately following the conclusion of the NFL Draft.
The Longshots Still Have a Chance
Outside of the Bears mentioned above, Brody Oliver and his quarterback from Colorado School of Mines, the rest are “longshots”.
This is not to say that the other players are not worthy of a shot, but the AAF or other smaller leagues may be a necessary stepping stone for these players.
Fisayo Awolaja – Offensive Lineman – 6’4″ 290 lbs.
He showed good posture, burst and technique.
As an offensive lineman he is quite agile for such a big frame.
Trae Riek – Running Back – 5’11” 200 lbs.
He has downhill running ability, catches well and fast.
Tank Terrell – Defensive End (moving to fullback potentially) – 6’2″ 260 lbs.
He has a big frame, high strength and good at ball locating.
Isaiah Swopes – Defensive Back – 5’9″ 170 lbs.
He has good man coverage and catching skills.
Hakeem Deggs – Receiver – 5’7″ 150 lbs.
He was an explosive kick returner with good acceleration and agility.
Brandon Cartagena – Running Back – 5’11” 200 lbs.
He has good speed and strength as a downhill runner.