During his senior year, Deon Butler set a school record at Penn State with 179 career receptions. Now he's ready to start catching passes from NFL quarterbacks after relaxing a bit while watching this weekend's NFL Draft.
"It's an enjoyable time because you get some time with family and friends," he told Scout.com. "I've been working out, staying in shape and now it's time to relax and wait and see how your life changes."
At Penn State's Pro Day, a coach from the Carolina Panthers ran the wide receiver drills. And the 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver was more than ready for what he'd be asked to do.
"Through my agency, I worked with Ricky Proehl. He had spent some of his later years with the Panthers, so he knows how they teach route-running there. So when the Panthers wide receivers coach was teaching us how he wanted us to run routes the way they do in Carolina, I had a head start on it."
One of the teams that took a close-up look at Butler's talent as a wide receiver was the Philadelphia Eagles, who sent a coach to the school to work him out along with teammates Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood.
"The funny part was that it was snowing that morning and there was something going on where we weren't able to use our indoor facilities. So we had to go out to an intramural field at nine o'clock in the morning and worked out in the snow," he said with a laugh. "The day before, it had been beautiful. So we were out there running routes and catching passes in the freezing cold and the snow."
One of the most recent teams to show interest in Butler was the Cleveland Browns, who invited him for an official team visit.
The Nittany Lion's stock has been rising during the pre-draft season. A key advantage for Butler is that he was a walk-on at Penn State as a defensive back during his redshirt freshman season before switching to wide receiver as a sophomore, so he understands defensive schemes and what an opponent will attempt to do in various situations against a wide receiver.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
"Getting an education. You're an athlete, but most importantly, you're a student-athlete," he said.
While he had the opportunity to meet Packers General Manager Ted Thompson during the school's Pro Day, it was an NFC North rival of Green Bay who invested time in sending a coach to the school to conduct a private workout with Kemp and fellow offensive lineman Kraig Urbik.
"The Vikings are big running team and Coach (Jim) Huber was my offensive line coach at Wisconsin my first year," Kemp said. "It would be a great honor to play for a team like that, but it would also be a great honor to get picked up by any NFL team, having that opportunity to play for them and helping the team win."
The Philadelphia Eagles also worked out the 6-foot-5, 313-pound lineman. And offensive coaches from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers were in attendance at his school's Pro Day.
Kemp is a well-grounded player who coaches and fans will appreciate for his outlook and work ethic that he displays every day.
"I'm a blue-collar kind of guy, not real fancy," he said. "I'm a tough guy who loves being in the trenches, and the run game is definitely one of my strong points. I'm the kind of guy who likes to lock-on the chin strap every day whether it's for practice or for a game, leaving everything out on the field.
"I go out and do my job to the best my ability, try to get better every day at practice, and try to learn from every game. I work on the little things that matter in the long run."
As you would expect, Kemp's not going to be getting too caught up in the hoopla of NFL Draft Weekend with a huge, wild party.
"I'll be at Mom and Dad's house. We've got some family and friends coming in, and we'll have some food and fun," he said.
Wisconsin teammate DeAndre Levy says that the pre-draft experience has been both exciting and a bit surreal.
"It took a lot patience. I had a couple of setbacks, so it felt good when I finally was able to do my individual workout," he said.
At the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker pulled his hamstring during the broad jump, and then tweaked it again about a week before his school's Pro Day while pushing himself to recover in time for the big event. As a result, he held a personal Pro Day when he was fully recovered. Eight NFL teams made the trip just to watch him perform, including representatives from the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, according to Levy.
At the Combine, he had formal interviews with a number of teams that included the Steelers, Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Detroit Lions. His first interview was with Detroit.
"That was a good icebreaker," he said. "It was probably the most relaxed bunch, they've got a lot of new guys, so it really helped me prepare for the rest of my interviews."
As the team's strongside linebacker, Levy showed good balance and talent in defending both the pass and the run. And he was a noticeable contributor on special teams during his career at Wisconsin, a skill that will help him contribute as a rookie in the NFL.
"I like working against teams that like to run the ball a lot, you get to go downhill and be physical with the fullback or the lineman that's in front of you," he said. "I've been working on my hand work the last couple of years to keep improving how I shed blocks, and I think that helped me a lot this year.
"In pass coverage, I try to anticipate where the ball is going and strive to be in the right place at the right time. I anticipate a lot of the routes and get underneath to help the DBs out."
While talking with NFL team representatives, Levy wanted to be sure that they focused on who he was as a football player and the results he's achieved on the field.
"I know a lot of guys who are good athletes, but I think being a football player is a little more important," he said. "I can do the small things that can make a difference, and I'm willing to learn. I take criticism well, and I'm a guy you can depend on day-in and day-out whether it's in the weight room, on the field or off the field."
Levy led the team with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss during his senior year. He made 210 tackles and forced six fumbles during his college career.
Click here for more coverage of your favorite NFL team.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email through this link.