Pro Day a Chance to Dream for Former Mountaineers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Pro Day a Chance to Dream for Former Mountaineers

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MORGANTOWN -

The culmination of years of hard work is put on display when football players strap on their cleats and take the field for their pro day.

On Friday, WVU held its own session in which former Mountaineers and a few local products tried doing all they could to impress the scouts and coaches in attendance and put themselves in position to get paid to play the game they love.

There are some, like Bruce Irvin and Najee Goode, who have already been firmly placed on various teams' radars, while others are doing all they can to make a name.

Some, like Sidney Glover and Anthony Leonard, are known commodities who played in NFL camps last summer before getting cut from their respective teams.

Everyone is looking for a chance.

The way they will get that chance is by showing off not only their athleticism and football skills, but also by standing out in conversations with the scouts who made the trip to see them.

For Goode and Irvin, a big opportunity to impress scouts and general managers came in the February NFL Combine. Now, surrounded by teammates and well-wishers, the situation seemed to present far less pressure.

"It's better to be in a familiar situation because you're more relaxed than at the Combine, guys are all wired up and stuff like that," says Goode. "That's how some of the bad stuff happens. Here, it's fun and we're still competing."

Keith Tandy, who ran the fastest forty time of the day, getting timed as low as 4.47 seconds, says the experience was positive from start to finish.

"I just wanted to come out and show that I was one of the best DBs in the draft," says Tandy. "I did pretty good – I had 35 inches on my vertical, I did 16 reps on the bench and a 10 [foot] broad jump."

After finishing his position drills, Tandy essentially stood before a line of representatives from various NFL teams, each asking a number of questions about his football history, his personal history and his academic successes.

"They were all pretty impressed by my GPA, my major. They all had pretty good stuff to say about me," he says.

Don Barclay, who played left tackle for much of his career at West Virginia, is being asked to play just about every other position along the line. After getting a few snaps in at center, a representative from the Pittsburgh Steelers came over to speak with him and expressed just how much more valuable he becomes with that versatility.

Not to mention the fact that he put together what he feels is a strong forty time, getting clocked at 5.02 seconds.

"I thought I did good. I thought I was well prepared," says Barclay. "Everyone came out here ready and with high intensity and a lot of my teammates killed their times, so it went well."

Then there are two lesser known talents who only spent limited time in Morgantown. Inside receivers Willie Milhouse and Devon Brown have each been working out with the WVU strength staff since the season ended and feel that an event like pro day is just what they need to turn some heads.

"Having people like Bruce and Najee on the team really helps the underdog in the story because there are a lot of people here just to watch them and then they see Willie Milhouse out there performing well and that helps me," says Milhouse.

Other participants included Julian Miller, Cody Nutter, Brantwon Bowser, Eain Smith, Tyler Urban and a few players whose careers ended prior to his past season. One of those was Will Johnson, the receiver-turned-tight end-turned-enormous.

Johnson ran crisp routes, showed terrific footwork and blew away the competition on the bench press, pumping 225 pounds for 30 reps.

The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26. In the days and weeks leading up to it, each of these potential rookies will continue to work to impress teams with the groundwork laid right here in Morgantown.

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