SHSU to hold pro day Thursday

The Sam Houston State football team will be holding the annual pro day today for all players hopeful to venture on an NFL career.

This year’s pro day will feature senior football players, such as wide receiver Jason Madkins, quarterback Blake Joseph, offensive lineman R.C. Fairchild, defensive lineman Kevin Smith and long snapper Justin Humphreys.

With a lot riding on players’ performances at pro days, draft stock is at stake. Since Sam Houston State is a smaller school, NFL scouts will be looking for participating players to bring their “A” games.

“I worked a lot on speed. Anything to help improve my chances,” Madkins said. “Blake [Joseph] and I threw twice at UH to get back in game shape.”

Madkins trained with Athletic Republic, an elite sports training industry, and some NFL pros, such as Derrick Blaylock, who most recently played for the Washington Redskins in 2007.

Madkins, who had a solid season in 2009 with 1073 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, knows the importance of impressing scouts with a strong work out.

“Pro days are huge,” Madkins said. “Especially since it’s on the home turf. The scouts will expect you to be a little more comfortable.”

Universities hold pro days for NFL scouts comparable to the events at the Combine. Pro days are expected to generate better performances than Combine work outs because players have the luxury of playing on their own campus as opposed to playing elsewhere.

The more promising NFL prospects there are

at a school’s pro day, more interest will be drawn from NFL teams, generating a bigger audience.

Some of the work outs that are performed at pro days include the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical jump, and route-running for skills players.

Head Football Coach Willie Fritz is welcoming in the players that will participate at the pro day. Despite not coaching any of these players the year before, Coach Fritz has the players’ best interests in mind.

“Coach Fritz is excited about this coming season, but he still had time to ask me if I was ready for the big day and he wished him luck,” Madkins said.

Students will be welcome to cheer on their fellow Bearkats at SHSU’s pro day.

The event will start at 10 a.m. and will run until around 1 p.m.

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