Cats host NFL scouts

Thanks to an intriguing group of players, the Wildcats had a great turnout of NFL Scouts for their pro timing day. Several Wildcat players worked out and by all accounts, at least a few helped themselves.

With every NFL team other than the Dolphins in attendance, a handful of Wildcats went through a variety of drills in an effort to get noticed and earn either a draft pick or a free agent contract.

Adam Austin, Chris Henry, Syndric Steptoe, Marcus Smith, Nick Folk, Michael Johnson and Marcus Hollingsworth along with former Wildcats Kirk Johnson and Sean Jones ran drills, showed skills and conducted interviews in their quest to play pro football.

Former Wildcats Lance Briggs, Copeland Bryan, Bobby Wade and Brandon Phillips were on hand to watch, as were a number of current players including Antoine Cason, Spencer Larsen, Ronnie Palmer and Wilrey Fontenot.

The day started in the weight room. The players started by testing their vertical jump and standing broad jump then moved on to the 40-yard dash, the shuttle run and the four cone drill before finishing things off with the bench press.

After his stellar performance in the NFL Draft Combine, Chris Henry elected not to take part in any of the measurable drills and Nick Folk only did the bench press. The kicker was impressive, lifting 225 pounds 14 times.

Steptoe showed good speed and quickness, while Marcus Smith did a lot to help himself before tweaking his hamstring running the 40-yard dash.

Next the event moved out to the practice field, where players would work out in position specific drills. Henry did participate in these drills and seem to have made a good impression. There was a big emphasis put on his pass catching ability and Henry did a nice job.

Steptoe also went through receiving drills, but also spent a lot of time on special teams drills. At one point they had him fielding punts one handed.

Folk was impressive as well, showing great leg and accuracy on his field goals.

Several teams interviewed players, with Henry getting the bulk of the attention.

*Wade was all smiles after signing a free agent deal with Minnesota. He noted that for the first time he has some job security with his multi-year deal.

*Briggs was not discussing his contract issues with the Bears, but would talk at length about the current Wildcat program. He said that he'd love to play for Mike Stoops and that the current Wildcat coach reminds him of a "younger Dick Tomey."

*Steptoe has heard that he is a second day selections and could go as high as the fourth round. No other player was hearing anything as specific.

*According to several staffers this was the highest turnout of scouts the school has ever hosted.

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