Appalachian State hosts NFL pro day
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Five members of the 2012 Appalachian State football team went through a job interview Tuesday during the Mountaineers pro day at Kidd Brewer Stadium and the Sofield Indoor Practice Facility.
Eight out of the 17 players participating in the pro day have Appalachian State ties, including former ASU safety Mark LeGree, who was selected in the 2012 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, but was released.
The Appalachian State class of 2013 included linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough, cornerback Demetrius McCray, safety Troy Sanders, punter Sam Martin and running back Steven Miller. Cedric Baker Boney, who played at Appalachian State in 2012, also participated.
McCray, the only Mountaineer to also attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, said most of the drills done at Appalachian State were the same that were done at the combine, but it was easier to work out at ASU then in Indianapolis.
“Just the atmosphere. I’m used to working out in these conditions,” McCray said. “I think I was comfortable just with my surroundings and everything.”
Former Watauga and Wofford standout Eric Breitenstein participated in a limited number of the drills, but will have his own pro day at Wofford.
The players also took the Wonderlic Test, a 50-question test that is supposed to give some glimpse at a players’ intelligence — sort of the NFL’s version of an SAT test.
Kareem Young, ASU’s strength and conditioning coach who serves as the Mountaineers’ NFL liaison, said there were at least 19 teams represented, including the Carolina Panthers. Most were scouts, though there was at least four position coaches.
Young did not say who the position coaches were or from which teams they represented. The sessions started late since the scouts were late from coming from Wake Forest. The ACC school has its pro day the same day Appalachian State does so coaches can attend both in one day.
Young said that’s all part of being a player in the NFL. He tells ASU players that they have to be ready for things to change unexpectedly.
“What we try to prepare our guys for is for what ever comes down the pike,” Young said. “To be prepared for any and everything. That’s conducive to being a professional. One of the things I try to do is to drive home that professionalism in every facet in their training, even if it’s starting late. It’s everything about being a professional and how you carry yourself.”
Young said that:
• Kimbrough was looked at by a few teams as a fullback and as a linebacker by teams.
“I knew coming in I would have to do some running back drills,” Kimbrough said. “I just want to open myself to the market that I’m a versatile player, so I just want to show teams that I’m willing to do anything to make the team.”
• Miller received applause after showing a vertical leap of 43 inches. “If you have scouts clapping for you, you have put on a show,” Young said.
• McCray set personal records for several of the drills, but did not elaborate what they were.
“I didn’t get what the numbers were, but he’s getting gradually better and better,” Young said.
• Martin was impressive punting and kicking the ball despite the wet conditions on the field. Martin and Miller both said the Patriots and Lions talked to them about special teams.
Martin did some holding for place kicks while indoors, and then punted a variety of ways outside.
“I think I did OK,” Martin said. “I’m not mad with how I did. I think I did well enough, especially with the conditions. Overall it was a good day.”
All of these guys did a lot of good things today,” Young said. “They looked very sharp. I would say it was not just a look. It was more of an evaluation of can he do this.