For 13 former University of Utah football players, this morning's "Pro Day" is the career audition of a lifetime.
"It's a big time I guess you could say job interview," said Utah assistant coach Morgan Scalley, who is overseeing the event. "And they better come prepared."
Representatives from every National Football League franchise have been invited to Salt Lake City to get a closer look at last season's seniors. The players will fill out paperwork, get measured (height, weight and wing span) and participate in a variety of physical tests including vertical and broad jumps, bench pressing 225 pounds, time in the 40-meters, as well as agility and position-specific drills.
"This is a one-shot deal for a lot of guys. There's a lot of pressure for them," said Scalley. "They've been training hard this entire time. This is their shot to show the scouts why they think they deserve to be given a shot."
The participating Utes, he added, are especially motivated since none were invited to last month's NFL's Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The NFL Draft is April 26-27.
"We've got a couple of guys, I think, that a lot of people have their eyes on," said Scalley.
Utah's "Pro Day" participants are expected to include offensive lineman Jason Boone, linebacker Kyle Brady, defensive end Martail Burnett, quarterback Tommy Grady, center Kyle Gunther, wide receiver Brian Hernandez, middle linebacker Joe Jiannoni, defensive tackle Gabe Long, tailback Darryl Poston, wide receiver Derrek Richards and safety Steve Tate. Linebacker Malakai Mokofisi and defensive lineman Casey Sutera plan to try out as long snappers.
Besides Utah, Bowling Green, California, Delaware State, Kansas and Oklahoma are also holding "Pro Day" gatherings today.The Utes open spring drills Tuesday. They open the 2008 season Aug. 30 at Michigan.