Eleven Cougars compete in first ever Big 12 Pro Day

Typically, each school with NFL Draft prospects will host what’s called ‘Pro Day.’ 

The Big 12 decided to do things differently. Rather than having individual schools run their own Pro Days, they decided to run a conference Pro Day, with all schools bringing their prospects to The Star. The Star is a 91-acre facility in Frisco, Texas, serving as the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility. 

137 prospects competed in the event, 11 being from BYU.

There were more than 130 NFL scouts in attendance from all 32 teams.

PROS AND CONS TO THE NEW FORMAT

One positive of having one event with the whole conference is it allows players to have an experience similar to the NFL Combine. This year, BYU only had three players invited to the Combine

One possible downside is removing a spotlight from some of the players and Provo. BYU’s athletic department has always been able to showcase the facilities for everyone who came for Pro Day.

Additionally, seniors from smaller Utah schools that did not host a Pro Day would sometimes be invited to help catch passes from quarterbacks or participate in drills. They are no longer able to do that.

Pro Day also provided an opportunity for high school recruits to come and see how if they came to BYU, they could one day participate in the same event. 

ON THE FIELD

The first day featured quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs. 

Isaac Rex participated with 12 other tight ends. He did 24 bench press reps before competing in other pass-catching drills. 

One-year transfers at BYU, Aiden Robbins and Deion Smith competed with the runningbacks. Robbins measured in at 6-foot-2 while running a 4.60 40-yard dash, 30 in vertical and 9.9-foot broad jump.

Smith ran a 4.58 40-yard dash with a 30-inch vertical and a 10.5-foot broad jump.

Eddie Heckard and Kamden Garrett were invited to a group of 27 defensive backs. Heckard was unable to compete in drills with a foot injury but was able to meet with scouts. Garrett ran a 4.47 40-yard dash to go along with his 31.5-inch broad jump and 9.8-foot vertical.

On the last day, specialists, linebackers and offensive and defensive lines participated. 

Two linebackers from BYU, Max Tooley and AJ Vongphachanh shined in their group. Tooley ran a 4.50 40 yard dash with a 34.5 inch vertical and 10-foot-2 broad jump. Vongphachanh had a 9.5 foot broad jump and 33.5 vertical.

“It’s what we’ve been training for our whole lives,” Tooley said via BYU Football’s X account.

Paul Maile represented BYU in a group of 22 offensive lineman. BYU has had an offensive lineman taken in each of the last two drafts.

For the defensive line, Jackson Cravens recorded 29 reps with fellow lineman Atunaisa Mahe recording 31.

Punter Ryan Rehkow also made another statement. He had previously performed well at the Combine, Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl. He had another good showing, projecting him as a 7th round draft pick.

“Super pleased with how our guys performed. I thought they represented themselves, their families and Cougar Nation really well…I am excited to see what the future holds for these guys.”

Justin Anderson, BYU Football’s Director of Player Personnel

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE PLAYERS

Kedon Slovis and Kingsley Suamataia who also participated in the NFL Draft Combine, in addition to those who participated in the Big 12 Pro Day, will look to be drafted. At both events, players were able to meet with various NFL teams and their representatives – a crucial step in being drafted.

The NFL Draft will take place April 25-27 in Detroit, Michigan. 

If players are not drafted, they can sign an undrafted free agency deal with teams immediately after the draft ends.

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