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BYU football: Former Cougars work out for pro scouts

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 5 2015 6:35 a.m. MDT

PROVO — Seven former Brigham Young University football players showed off for National Football League scouts Wednesday in the school's annual NFL Pro Day.

Safety Andrew Rich, defensive end Vic So'oto, kicker Mitch Payne, wideout Luke Ashworth, offensive lineman Jason Speredon and defensive backs Brandon Bradley and Brian Logan worked out in the indoor practice facility for representatives from teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, among others.

"It felt good to be out here," Logan said. "It felt like game day again getting the adrenalin pumping and all."

After starting out in the weight room, the players participated in a number of drills on the field, including the all-important 40-yard dash, the standing broad jump and other position drills for the defensive players.

Though the official results of the drills are not immediately released by the NFL, some of the highlights from the workout were So'oto's 35 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and Logan's unofficial clocking of 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.

"It definitely gave me confidence after watching the combine to know that I could do better than some of those guys from bigger schools," So'oto said. "Pro Day gives us a chance to show these guys (scouts) what we can do. Hopefully, I surprised some guys today."

"I think my chances are good," Logan said. "I just hope teams don't look past me because of my size. Coach Mendenhall gave me a chance coming out of junior college, and hopefully a team will do the same thing in the NFL. It is in God's hands now and I will just have to see what happens come April."

Another option for players who aren't drafted is to sign with a pro team as an undrafted free agent. This is the route many former Cougars have taken to begin their NFL careers, including quarterback Max Hall, fullback Manase Tonga and defensive lineman Chris Hoke, a nine-year pro veteran.

The 6-foot-2, 213-pound Rich is one of BYU's highest-rated players, according to ESPN's player ratings. He said that though he would like to play at the next level, his life will go on whether he gets picked up by an NFL team or not.

"I did my best today and that is all you can do, I guess," Rich said. "I just have to keep working. If I don't get the opportunity, I still have six credit hours left to do and hopefully I can get into a masters program and just live my life."

And if pro football doesn't come calling?

"I could actually go hunting in the fall," Rich said, "which is something I haven't been able to do for a while."

Dozens of current BYU players showed up to watch their former teammates participate in Pro Day as they prepare to start spring practice sessions next week.

However, So'oto said in the end, the player's future isn't up to the scouts that were here watching them.

"Scouts on the next level like this are kind of just the scribes," So'oto said. "They don't make the decision."

Though none of the players who worked out Wednesday are expected to go high in April's NFL draft, many are hopeful they will be drafted in the later rounds. Logan, listed at 5-6 and 185 pounds, said he is just looking for a chance to play at the next level.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company