Petrus Makes Pitch

STORRS, Conn. – The Connecticut football team held its annual "Pro Day" Wednesday afternoon at The Burton Family Football Complex. With over 20 NFL scouts on hand, several former UConn players made a final effort to prove they belong on an NFL roster for the 2012 season.

Perhaps no one had more to prove then center Moe Petrus.

While most UConn draft day observers expect to see names like Kendall Reyes and Kashif Moore come off the board in this year's NFL draft, one name that has been tossed around by scouts is Moe Petrus, a 6-foot-2, 302-pound center from St. Laurent, Quebec.

Petrus was a key member of the offensive line that produced an outstanding running game in recent seasons at UConn. As a captain in 2011, Petrus was named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the nation's best interior lineman, as well as the Rotary Lombardi Award, which is given to the best lineman in the country.

But when this year's NFL combine rolled around, Petrus found himself without an invitation.

Without an invitation to the combine, Petrus wasn't able to show off his talents against some of the best lineman in the country, making Wednesday's pro day even that more important for the prospect.

"I felt I did well out there," Petrus said. "There is always room for improvement, but I was happy to come out here and get some work done in front of some scouts. I'm looking forward to what the future holds."

Critics say he lacks quickness, may be a bit on the short side, and he doesn't have the balance necessary to play at the next level efficiently.

Headlining his strengths is the fact he has an enormous amount of experience at the position - as well as a motor that doesn't stop until the whistle is blown. He also has a good frame and a solid first step off the ball.

Experience and consistency is something that scouts today may overlook. While the physical tools are extremely important, it's the other factors that make a player who they are. It may be hard to find a player in the country who throughout his career has been more consistent than Moe Petrus, and that is something that he believes he can bring to an NFL team.

"I think I have a wealth of experience," Petrus said. "I'm a smart player and mature. I think I can bring some leadership qualities, hard work and dedication and I'm a team player. I'm excited to get on a team and hopefully make a roster and show what I could do."

Petrus was joined by former UConn teammates safety Harris Agbor, tailback Jonathan Jean-Louis, defensive tackle Twyon Martin, wide receiver Kashif Moore, defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, offensive tackle Mike Ryan, kicker Dave Teggart and cornerback Gary Wilburn.

When asked about what it meant to have these players as well as a number of former and current UConn players in attendance to watch each other perform, Petrus said it meant a lot.

"It was great," Petrus said. "A lot of familiar faces out here. We spent the week working out with the other seniors and stuff so it was a good feeling to get out here and work together and encourage each other and get some work in."


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