MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012
Nine Jacksonville players among dozen at JU Pro Day
Josh Phiopart gets airborne in teh broad jump Monday.
Josh Phiopart gets airborne in teh broad jump Monday.
Twelve players, including nine from Jacksonville University, worked for professional football scouts in the first-ever Pro Day at D.B. Milne Field.

Quarterback Josh McGregor, running backs J.J. Laster and Rudell Small, wide receivers Josh Philpart, Tommie Rogers and Larry Thompson, long snapper/tight end Eric Baker, and defensive back Darren Johnson joined former offensive lineman Lavan Simms to work in front of scouts.

Also in the mix were Sam Charles of Edward Waters College, defensive lineman David Malone of St. Francis (IL) and Urbana (Ohio) cornerback/safety Juan McKeever.

Players were tested in a variety of areas including agility, speed, strength, jumping ability and intelligence in the Pro Day that was conducted very similar to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

“We’ve done reports on these players, seen them play in the fall and watched tape and this will probably be the final culmination of getting more data on them,’’ said Jacksonville Jaguars scout Tim Mingey. “The same things we did at the Combine we did that today.’’

Mingey was joined by Joe Collins of the New York Giants and Danny McManus of the Canadian Football League Hamilton Tiger Cats in the evaluations.

Mingey said it is incumbent the Jaguars know JU players.

“Being that it’s JU’s Pro Day, we want to make sure we’re here and know all the players in this program,’’ he said. “We have great respect for what (JU coach) Kerwin Bell has done with the program and obviously what they’ve done over the last couple of years. And, since we’re the Jaguars we’d better know what the talent level is at JU.’’

Despite Philpart recording the fastest 40-yard time of the day, 4.48 seconds, most attention centered on record-setting McGregor who threw mostly pinpoint passes during his on field drills

“I can’t say specifically our evaluation of him, but we are aware of the numbers he’s put up here,’’ Mingey said. “It’s pretty prolific. I think a lot of people have him on their radar because of his production at JU.’’

McGregor was happy with his effort and seemingly just as happy JU finally is getting recognized.

“It’s an honor to be here,’’ he said. “It’s an honor to be part of the first Pro Day ever at JU and I couldn’t ask for more being here.’’

McGregor, Philpart and Thompson Monday all received invites to the University of Florida Pro Day scheduled Tuesday in Gainesville.

- Jim Nasella