Pro Day On The Campus Of Cincinnati

Since the end of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month, NFL team scouts and former college players have been coming together at colleges across the country with NFL teams hoping to find those hidden gems or get another time on a player they may have a high interest in drafting or signing as a free agent. Friday they made a stop at Cincinnati.

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While each year players under the radar of the NFL impress a team enough to draft them or sign them as a free agent, this meat market is one of nerves for the former college players with dreams of making it to the next level. The odds are against them making it, but without taking the chance, they will never know if their future holds a few days in a NFL camp or even making a roster spot like several Bearcats did from last years draft class.

Friday saw a few scouts and former Bearcats come together in hopes of making a match. Adam Roberts, Chet Ervin, Donald Germany and Steve Eastlake were the 2005 Bearcats looking to impress the scouts from the Dolphins, Eagles, Bengals, Colts and Rams on the day.

Adam Roberts does the 3-Cone drill for NFL Scouts during the Bearcats Pro Day on Friday at UC

Roberts, the senior defensive captain was looking to make the same impressions on scouts that his former teammates Andre Frazier and Trent Cole made during their Pro Day. Cole who would be drafted by the Eagles made a big splash this time last year and Frazier impressed the Steelers enough to be signed as a free agent. Where does Roberts look to be when compared to these former Bearcats? In talking with his agent David Lee (also agent for Frazier), he sees Adam in between the two as a player who could be drafted between the 5th - 7th rounds or be signed as a free agent. Last year Frazier became one of those players teams passed on only to see him make the Steelers roster and play key roles during their run to the Super Bowl until an injury ended his season in the playoffs.

Adam Roberts runs one of many 40's for the NFL Scouts on Friday during the Bearcats Pro Day

But today began with hopes and dreams alive as each former Bearcat took his turn in the several drills ran by the scouts. Players first were measured in the Bearcats weight room, and then players took their turns with the bench press before heading to the Armory to have their vertical jumps recorded.

Scouts like Mark Ellenz of the Colts (right) compare 40 times with other scouts and give the player an average time.

Once the indoor tests were completed, scouts and athletes headed to the turf inside Nippert Stadium to do the running part of their Pro Day testing. Here players run 40 yard dashes and then finish with a 3-cone drill. While the day is for those players looking at this year's draft, many of the younger Bearcats came to support their former teammates and to witness what they hope will be themselves in the next couple of years. One player who seemed to be paying close attention to all the action was Haruki Nakamura. When asked, Nakamura expressed his desires that someday he would earn the chance to show what he could do for a chance to play at the next level. Others like Anthony Hoke and Kevin Lovell also paid close attention to the details surrounding them.

Younger Bearcats like Anthony Hoke know their day will come soon enough for their chance to play at the next level

But while Roberts may have been the player most of the scouts came to see, offensive lineman Steve Eastlake showed them the work he's been doing in Morgantown, West Virginia since the first of the year has paid off. The 6'6 slimed down (300 lb.) Eastlake looked to be in the best shape of his life. And his performance didn't disappoint scouts as he did very well in the drills.

Steve Eastlake runs the 3-Cone drill for NFL Scouts during Pro Day on Friday at UC

The one player who may have been the most disappointed during the day was Chet Ervin. The former Bearcats punter has been working on his kicking and looked forward to showing off his leg to scouts. But all the scouts said they had enough game film on Ervin and didn't need to see him kick on this day. Ervin knows the road for kickers is different then those of position players. While he hopes to have the chance to show his wares in a NFL Camp, he's also seen interest from teams in Canada and doesn't have any problem of heading north to continue his career.

One Bearcat just looking to see some interest was Donald Germany. Staying in shape since his Bearcat career ended in November, Germany came with members of his family to see if he could draw any interest from the scouts. But without an agent working on his behalf, Germany knows the road is tough and while many have hopes and dreams of the NFL, he's just looking for a way to continue his football career.

Donald Germany knows his NFL future may be a longshot, but that didn't stop him from looking to open at least one scouts eye during the Bearcats Pro Day

While this years class of Bearcats is smaller then 2005's, these former Bearcats hold the same dreams in making a living at the next level. Bearcat Insider will have audio interviews with Steve Eastlake and Donald Germany posted this weekend. You can already hear Chet Ervin talk about Pro Day and the road he's taking towards the next level.


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