In the past, many HBCU athletes were overlooked for other prospects coming out of big-name power 5 schools, but that is the case no longer. This past Thursday, March 30th, 7 senior football players got to display their talents in front of professional scouts.
Pro Day is a huge opportunity for players looking to take the next step forward past collegiate football. Players get a chance to showcase their talents throughout different drills to professional scouts looking for the next best talent to add to their respective teams for the upcoming season. This year over 20+ professional teams sent out scouts to come and look at the talent produced here at FAMU. Some teams represented include the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers and even the CFL’s Edmonton Elks and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Washington Commanders scout, Martin Mayhew, spoke on why he looks forward to schools’ Pro Day’s in comparison to the NFL Draft.
“I always like to come see guys in their natural environment and see how people gravitate towards them…Its more intimate between them and their teammates. I always like to watch the bench press because it allows you to see the guys and who they’re really rooting for to do well,” Mayhew said.
Pro Day is great for players because it gives them a better chance of having those 1 on 1 conversations with professional scouts, who may give them critiques to help them take their game to the next level. It also is convenient for players because they get to perform in a familiar environment while their teammates, families and friends get to cheer them on.
Placekicker, Jose Romo-Martinez talked about what the support from everyone meant to him while performing.
“Today we had a great crowd out here supporting us. That kind of drives us. It definitely puts a little bit of pressure on us but that’s what FAMU is about, driving each other to give it our best,” Romo-Martinez said.
The turnout over the past two years for Pro Day have been huge successes due to high profile players like Xavier Smith, Isaiah Land and Dallas Cowboys safety, Markquese Bell. Having bigger profile players attracts many scouts to come watch but that also gives others a chance to make a name for themselves in front of those same scouts.
Head Coach Willie Simmons spoke on how he envisions Pro Day going into the future.
“Hopefully every year every NFL team feels like they have to make a stop down in Tallahassee to come to Bragg [Memorial Stadium] and evaluate our talent… We’ve got guys who can play in the NFL,” Simmons said.
We will get to see where Rattlers land as the NFL Draft takes place on April 27-29th.