BYU football alumni looking to impress at 2018 Pro Day
BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb has some experience with seeing athletes make the jump from college football to the NFL, the dream that many former Cougars are currently chasing.
“It’s inspiring for our current players and it’s a great opportunity for the guys who get to participate,” Lamb said Wednesday. “We encourage all of them to do it. Participation in that Pro Day is a big deal, a big step for these guys. It’s exciting.”
Friday will be a big day for the BYU alumni as they try to attract the attention of NFL scouts at Pro Day in Provo by running, jumping, lifting and doing drills.
Lamb explained that the goal is to take what teams already know and elevate their profile a little more.
“All of these guys are slotted in the NFL somewhere right now in terms of their realistic potential to go to a camp or get drafted,” Lamb said. “The Pro Day is a chance to move up or down. Scouts are looking for outlying times. They have so much data on all of these guys but right now a lot of it is projections. If one of these guys improves by 0.2 or 0.3 seconds over their projection, that gives them a chance to move up on someone’s board.”
Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake has always said he wants BYU players to strive to be at the highest level of whatever they do.
“I think they should have a goal to be at the top of their profession,” Sitake said. “If they want to play football, they should try to play in the NFL.”
The current Cougar squad will not have practice on Friday so they can come support their friends and maybe add an extra boast of adrenaline.
“We’ll create more of a game-simulation feel,” Sitake said. “I think that’s why Taysom (Hill) ran so well last year because there were 1,000 people watching him. When you show up, guys perform better. Hopefully the guys can see that.”
A number of former BYU players have been at practices this week as they prepare for Pro Day, including class headliner Fred Warner.
“I’m excited for them,” Sitake said. “Now they are alumni, so I’m excited for guys like Fred Warner to get his shot and make things happen. Pro Day will always be an emphasis for us, trying to get guys to the NFL. But more than anything it’s trying to get them graduated so they can move on in life and be great contributors to their community.”
The current Cougars enjoy having their friends back in town.
“It’s fun to see him and all of the guys,” BYU senior linebacker Butch Pau’u said. “Fred was one of the guys I got to grow up with. He taught me my freshman year, my sophomore year and my junior year. He took care of me. I’m hoping for the best for all of them, that they can all get picked up.”
Pau’u knows that this is his last year as a spectator, since in 2019 he plans to be a participant.
“It’s something I plan to do after this year,” Pau’u said. “To see them chase that dream is more motivating for me being out here on the field, to be the leader I am supposed to be and prepare for the next level.”
The Pro Day action is scheduled to start around 9 a.m. with BYUtv televising a special from 10 a.m. to noon.