After years of competing at Peden Stadium as part of a team, nine former Bobcats will take the field one final time Thursday for a more individualized effort.
Ohio will host its annual Pro Day to give its seniors a chance to showcase their skills for professional scouts. Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Tom Symonds said he expects 20 to 30 scouts from the National Football League and the Canadian Football League to be in attendance.
“We have pro scouts following us all through the year,” coach Frank Solich said. “They’re on our campus for almost every practice. I think that’s an important part of a program, to be able to show the ability of your players.”
The Bobcats taking part in Thursday’s high-profile workout include seven offensive players, one defender and one member of the special-teams unit. Wide receiver LaVon Brazill returns to Athens for Pro Day after competing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month.
Linebacker Noah Keller will also go through drills Thursday, along with Ohio’s lone First Team All-MAC honoree, offensive lineman Joe Flading, and running back Donte Harden. The other competitors are wide receivers Phil Bates, Riley Dunlop and Jerry Gross, offensive lineman A.J. Strum and punter Paul Hershey.
Solich said he thinks Ohio’s coaching staff has equipped the Bobcats to succeed at the next level.
“I think we’ve prepared guys well,” he said. “We’ve got a year-round conditioning program, we’ve got an excellent strength program. Our system is a very sound college system for our guys to progress in and to show their abilities.”
Though Solich said he was not sure exactly how many scouts would attend, or how that attendance would compare to past years, Ohio might have drawn a few more eyes this season thanks to its success and nationally televised games. The Bobcats won 10 games and a bowl game for the first time since 1968 and played their final six contests on ESPN or an affiliate station.