By Jonathan Okanes
Cal Bear Blog
BERKELEY – Approximately 40 NFL personnel evaluators from 29 teams converged on Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium on Tuesday for Cal’s annual Pro Timing Day in which former players are put through a series of tests and measurable drills to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Running back Brendan Bigelow, defensive tackle Deandre Coleman, linebacker Khairi Fortt, cornerback Kameron Jackson and tight end Richard Rodgers were among the 17 former Bears who put their skills on display in the hopes of catching the eyes of NFL teams.
“Everything I wanted to have happen, happened,” said Jackson, who was clocked as low as a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash. “I felt like I performed well.”
The athletes went through a series of measurements, bench press, and the vertical and broad jump in the team’s high performance zone before heading out to the field for sprints, shuttle runs (20 and 60-yard), the 3 cone drill and positional workouts. Rodgers, who attended the NFL Pro Scouting Combine along with Fortt and Coleman last month, was happy with Tuesday’s workout.
“I think it’s easier (than the combine) just because you are in your environment, and you played college football here for your career,” Rodgers said. “The days leading up are not as strenuous as the combine, so it’s easier. It’s just different. This is more running a variety of routes. I think that’s my game – running routes and catching the ball. That’s what I got to do out here, and I think I did well.”
Bigelow tweaked a hamstring while running the 40-yard dash but still completed it in as low as 4.41 and an average time of 4.48. He also recorded a mark of 17 in the bench press.
“I put a lot of work in,” Bigelow said. “I’ve been prepping for this for a while, about three months now. It’s just devastating. I’ve never had a hamstring problem, ever. This is the first time. I’m just shocked that this even happened. I’m going to keep pushing and keep going. I’m always going to keep my head up high and keep soaring. That’s all I know.”
Other former Bears that worked out Tuesday included wide receiver Nyan Boateng, offensive lineman Mark Brazinski, placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato, linebacker Ryan Davis, defensive back Josh Hill, safety Alex Logan, linebacker/defensive lineman Chris McCain, defensive lineman Viliami Moala, long snapper Brandon Madueño, defensive lineman Ernest Owusu, defensive lineman Kendrick Payne and offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin.
Former Cal star Marshawn Lynch, now a member of the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks, was also on hand to watch the proceedings, as well as former Bears wide receiver Jeremy Ross, now with the Detroit Lions. Current student assistant coach and former Cal and Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best was also in attendance.
Rodgers said one of the appealing things about Pro Day is the chance to get together with former teammates who all have similar aspirations.
“Everyone did well,” Rodgers said. “Everyone looked good. It’s fun when we can all get together and catch up and talk about where we’ve been working out. We just had a good day out here.”