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March 15, 2011
Chippewas audition for NFL scouts at Pro Day
Nick Bellore, Matt Berning, Colin Miller, Jeff Maddux, Kito Poblah, Vince Agnew, Sean Murnane, Bobby Seay, Brett Hartmann and Jake Ekkens all took part in the Pro Day drills.With current NFL players Dan LeFevour and Frank Zombo back on campus, several members of Central Michigan's senior class looked to join them as they auditioned in front of NFL scouts at Pro Day. All in all there were scouts from 19 different NFL organizations in attendance as
Workouts included the bench press, vertical jump, standing long jump, 40-yard dash, three cone drill, short shuttle and then position specific drills.
Fresh off an impressive NFL Combine performance, CMU linebacker Nick Bellore would build upon his draft stock after he improved his 40-yard dash. After posting times of 4.83 and 4.86 at the NFL Combine, Bellore would run a 4.73 and a 4.65 during Pro Day, and he now awaits his football future as the NFL Draft approaches.
"I'm just happy to be done, it's a long process and this is kind of the last piece to the puzzle," added Bellore. "There are some interviews and stuff afterwards, but the main work is already done, and that's a big relief. I think everyone did well today, which is all you can ask for. We had a lot of teams here today, and the more that are here the better."
With the uncertainty facing the NFL right now due to a possible lockout, Bellore will continue to work out at CMU or back in Wisconsin until a compromise is made. But for right now, Bellore is just taking the moment in and reflecting upon the opportunity he has.
"Going through the All-Star Games, the NFL Combine and finally getting to Pro Day here, I remember watching Joe Staley run when I was just a true freshman, it's amazing that it's already here and we have a great group of guys."
Additionally, the current crop of CMU players was able to gain valuable information from the likes of LeFevour, Zombo and Antonio Brown about the whole process.
"Dan (LeFevour) really helped me out with the combine, you know all the little details about what to expect," said Bellore. "And you know I'm going to look to Zombo for advice in just moving forward and how to prepare for everything."
"They were just telling me to have fun the whole time," added Kito Poblah. "They were telling me to not think about all the extra stuff, it's not like college anymore, you're just playing football so that's all you have to worry about. There is nothing better than that, just to play football, have fun and get paid on top of it."
Along with Bellore and Poblah, two centerpieces along the CMU offensive line for the last four years are also drawing interest. Colin Miller started at center for four years, and Jeff Maddux at guard, and both bring a ton of experience to the table. Miller even took home the top bench press on Pro Day as he churned out 32 reps of 225 pounds. Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs showed interest in Miller, and his experience played a major part in his performance.
"The process went real smooth, I've been here and watch the last four Pro Day's at CMU, so I knew what I was getting into and what the experience would be like," said Miller. "Guys just kept telling me to keep your head up and keeping push on. I talked to Nick (Bellore) when he was out doing combine stuff. He told me it's not as scary as you think it is. It's not, everyone puts it on a pedestal, but when you really get down to it, it's just playing football."
Other Pro Day notes include Vince Agnew blazing a 4.45 forty yard dash and Matt Berning taking reps at both linebacker and fullback. At a solid 6-foot and 245 pounds, Berning ran a 4.74 forty yard dash and added 28 reps on the bench press.
As of now, Bellore is CMU's top rated prospect and most draft prognosticators have him anywhere between the 5th and 7th round. But while Bellore is likely to get drafted, others like Berning, Miller, Maddux and Poblah face more uncertainty, but they are aided by the performances of former Chippewas Frank Zombo, Cullen Jenkins and Josh Gody. All three were undrafted free agents in the NFL and all three now have Super Bowl rings after winning them with the Green Bay Packers just a few months ago. Zombo even went from UDFA to starter in his first season, and his story is one many scouts should keep in mind when they land in Mount Pleasant to look at potential NFL talent.
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