FAMU football players show their talents to NFL scouts

Quarterback Curtis Pulley had a stellar senior season in 2009 and on Thursday’s NFL Pro Day. Scouts from around the league got an opportunity to see the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year up close and personal.

Last season, Pulley passed for 1,800 yards and rushed for another 800 yards. Florida A&M head football coach Joe Taylor said that the quarterback position has evolved and Pulley is the type of player that NFL teams are looking for.

“At one point, it was a position that supposedly [blacks] didn’t do well. They used to say we couldn’t think well enough to do that, but they found that not to be true,” Taylor said.

“Not only can we think, but we have athleticism to where, whenever anything else breaks down around us, we can still make plays. So they’re comparing him to a kind of Michael Vick type of guy. Not only does he have the arm and the feet, but the guy is really athletic.”

Despite wet grass, Pulley impressed scouts in numerous drills. He boasted one of the best times in the 40-yard dash and recorded a vertical jump of 34 inches.

“Football is football. It is the same thing I’ve been doing since I was 12,” Pulley said.

“I feel like I did great. The scouts had some real encouraging words.”

The San Francisco 49 ers showed a keen interest in the 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. According to 49ers quarterback coach Mike Johnson Pulley’s skills could not go overlooked.

“He’s done well in the conference that he’s played in. We have to evaluate all quarterbacks who have the ability to eventually play in the next level,” Johnson said.

The head coach of the 49ers, Mike Singletary was also in attendance on Thursday. Singletary, although pleased with his quarterback situation (the 49ers signed David Carr, first overall pick in 2002 on Monday), can envision what a player like Pulley could do for his team’s offense.

“The thing is, whenever you want to do something unique, it’s all about finding natural players and you can develop them,” Singletary said.

“When I look at him, there is all types of things that I can visualize. It’s all about just getting him in the system and him learning the system. Going from there, the sky is the limit.”

Despite his skills, the third-year head coach wants Pulley to “get more muscle to him,” which is something he is already working on.

“It’s just training, hard work, and coming in every day to the weight room trying to get bigger,” Pulley said.

The one aspect of his game that the former Kentucky Mr. Football did not get to show off on Thursday was his powerful throwing arm; however, Coach Taylor said that he has already proved to be a dual threat.

“We know he can run and scramble, but [last spring] we forced him to stay in the pocket,” he said.

“They took that title off of him as just an athlete and started thinking of him as a quarterback.”