JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Representatives from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, and Saskatchewan Roughriders were present on the campus of Jacksonville University Friday morning, as the football team held its annual Pro Day.
Looking to make positive impressions on scouts from the National and Canadian Football Leagues, five graduating seniors took part in this year's activities. Running backs Jake Brito and Pernell Rattray, Linebacker Harrison Rodormer and defensive back Griffin Garland participated in the full extent of the workout, which included bench press, the 40-yard dash, shuttle runs, and other field and weight room drills. Additionally, quarterback Rylan Wells threw at the event.
"It's a great opportunity for our guys to be out here in front of scouts on Pro Day," Head Coach Ian Shields said. "It's a job interview for them. They're looking to go pro in one of the biggest corporations in the country, whether it be the NFL, the CFL, or Arena Football. It's a celebration of their great careers here at JU, and a chance for them to take a step forward in their careers."
With approximately one month remaining until the 2018 NFL Draft and the free agent signing period that takes place thereafter, college pro days are a chance for prospective athletes to showcase their skills in hopes of continuing at the next stage.
"I hope that the scouts see that no matter what, I'm going to finish every drill, I'm going to work hard, and I'm going to take whatever they throw at me," Rattray said. "I'm going to take it and try to do my best with it."
All five players who took part in Pro Day saw significant playing time during Jacksonville's 2017 football campaign, which saw the team finish 7-4, a two-win improvement from the previous year.
As JU's starting quarterback, Wells threw for 1480 yards and 11 touchdowns, rushing for 472 more with eight scores. The redshirt-senior received three Pioneer Football Offensive Player of the Week accolades, and was an Honorable Mention for the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8, 2017.
Brito and Rattray were each part of a rushing contingent that set the school record for rushing offense (2962 yds), attempts (601), and touchdowns (31) in a single season. Brito ran for 298 yard and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Dolphins, while Rattray tallied 767 yards and six scores in his career.
A defensive captain, Rodormer started 42 games over for years in the green and white, making 87 tackles and 9.6 sacks over that time. Starting all 11 contests at strong safety last season, Garland was a Second-Team PFL honoree as both a defensive back and a long snapper after his senior year. The Jupiter, Fla. Native finished his collegiate career with 101 tackles and three interceptions, and was a percent 80-80 on long snaps.
Each of the five players will hope to join seven others as former Dolphins who are currently playing professionally. This includes WR Andy Jones, who finished last season as an active member of the Detroit Lions' roster, and LB Justin Horton, who recently signed with the Roughriders.