Lothe: Good investment

Eastern Illinois standout feels he has benefited from training with Wisconsin's John Dettmann

MADISON—Every year an unfamiliar face or two turns up at the University of Wisconsin's pro-timing day. This year that face belonged to Kory Lothe, a former Sun Prairie (Wis.) High School star who spent the past four seasons as a fixture on the defensive front for Division I-AA Eastern Illinois.

Lothe, a four-year starter at defensive end, performed well at the Badgers' pro day last week. After checking in at 6-foot-4, 268 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds, recorded a 10-foot-3 broad jump and a 38 ½-inch vertical jump, a 4.29-second 20-yard shuttle and 22 repetitions on the bench press at 225 pounds.

Lothe said he connected with the Badgers and their strength and conditioning coach John Dettmann on his agent's recommendation.

"He said John Dettmann gets real good results with the team up here," Lothe said. "I just improved in everything… I had to pay a little bit out of my own pocket but it was probably one of my best investments I've ever made."

Lothe had an impressive career at EIU. He was a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection as a senior when he finished third in the league with five sacks and seventh with nine tackles for loss, while also contributing nine quarterback hurries and 38 total tackles. He was a second-team All-OVC choice in his junior and sophomore seasons. He tied for the league-lead in sacks (six) and was fifth in tackles for loss (9.5) in 2004 and he led the Panthers with eight sacks in 2003.

Lothe finished his career with 24 sacks and 195 tackles. Perhaps most impressively, though, he never missed a game, starting all 47 EIU contests since 2002.

"I'm real proud of that and that was probably my best accomplishment, starting every game since my redshirt freshman year," Lothe said.

After completing his senior campaign, Lothe expected to be a priority free agent following April's NFL Draft. He hopes that his showing in workouts such as last week's pro day have improved his stock. He could potentially end up being a late-round draft pick.

"I hope I upped my value a little bit [at UW's pro day] and I think I did," Lothe said. "I came out, I weighed a lot more than I thought I was going to."

The indication Lothe has received from NFL teams is that he will most likely be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme at the next level. His coaches at EIU recognized that and flexed him between playing end in a 4-3 and outside linebacker in a 3-4 during his last two seasons. The Panthers are a base 4-3 team, but they put in a 3-4 package with Lothe in mind.

Said Lothe: "My coaches at school, they started moving me back there a little bit more starting the second half of my junior and into my senior year. I played a lot there, just to get used to it because they thought I had a chance to play (in the NFL) and that's where they thought I'd play."

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