Players Chase Dreams On Pro Day

A host of former West Virginia football stars returned to campus on Friday to work out in front of NFL scouts -- and a pair of NFL head coaches -- at the school's annual Pro Day,

Scouts from a host of professional teams (including, in no particular order, the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and Oakland Raiders) descended upon WVU's football facilities to watch players go through Combine-style workouts.

The process was old hat for a pair of Mountaineers who participated. Bruce Irvin and Najee Goode, both of whom participated in last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis, did little to dissuade the notion that they will merit selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Both opted not to participate in the 40-yard dash, as they were satisfied with the times they posted at the Combine.

But several other Mountaineers with professional hopes did run, including cornerback Keith Tandy and defensive lineman Julian Miller. Tandy was unofficially hand-timed by Dominion Post reporter Ed Owens at an impressive 4.41 in the 40, while Miller came in at 4.77.

Offensive lineman Don Barclay ran in the low 5.0 range and also attracted attention from scouts during positional workouts.

While Goode did not run the 40, he did participate in the short shuttle (4.20), three-cone drill (7.00) and the 60-yard dash (11.54).

Tandy unofficially clocked in with a 4.35 in the short shuttle, a 6.85 three-cone drill and an 11.28 60-yard dash. Miller came in at 4.38 in the short shuttle, 7.16 in the three-cone and 12.00 in the 60.

Several other Mountaineers performed, including tight end/inside receiver Tyler Urban and cornerback Brantwon Bowser. They were joined by players from past seasons, including linebacker Anthony Leonard, safety Sidney Glover, tight end Will Johnson, linebacker Pat Lazear and receiver Wes Lyons.


  • Among the attendees were Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Chicago Bears head man Lovie Smith.

    Tomlin seemed content to let scouts do most of the work, as he and WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen talked shop for the better part of the workouts held in the Mountaineers' Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.

  • Irvin said he already has nine visits lined up with NFL teams in the coming weeks, including the Bills, Jets and Steelers, among others. Tandy said he will meet with the Jaguars. Others, including Miller and Barclay, said they were told by scouts to expect phone calls in the near future.

  • Players noted that the scouts who came up to talk to them after workouts wanted to know more about their personal backgrounds -- including their major in college, GPA, where they were from, what their family life was like -- than anything directly related to football.

    Irvin again had to answer questions about the darker portions of his past, and said he has done so "probably 70 or 80 times" in the last few weeks. Goode called past couple of months "the longest of my life."

  • Not surprisingly, Irvin worked out with both defensive linemen and linebackers during positional drills. Miller also worked with both groups.

    In a bit of a surprise, Goode was called out to do secondary drills, as he gave scouts a chance to get a look at his coverage skills.

  • Most players, including Irvin, said they plan to stay in the area to continue training before the NFL Draft.

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