UConn football players impress NFL scouts at Pro Day

(Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

UConn football players showcased their strength, skill and speed in front of scouts from 18 different NFL teams on Wednesday, taking part in the school’s annual Pro Day at the Shenkman Center practice facility.

The 13 different players in the event included defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi, who also participated in the NFL Draft Combine earlier in the year and is projected to be gone by the second day of the NFL Draft.

Fatukasi only participated in positional drills and the bench press, where he put up 33 reps.

Less-heralded UConn prospects like running back Arkeel Newsome and safety Jamar Summers used Wednesday to showcase their talents to NFL scouts for the first time.

Summers, looking to follow in the footsteps of underrated UConn defensive backs like Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Obi Melifonwu, put on an impressive performance. Summers posted a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and a broad jump of 10-foot-5, echoing former UConn safety Byron Jones’ legendary combine performance.

Newsome participated in the broad jump as well with a 9-foot-4 leap, ran the 40-yard dash and put up 14 reps in the bench press, an impressive feat for the 5-foot-7, 190-pound running back prospect.

Newsome fits the mold of a situational, pass-catching running back in today’s NFL with his role catching passes out of the backfield in the new-look 2017 UConn football offense. Newsome gained 3.37 yards per route run, the highest mark in college football last year.

Other top performers at the Pro Day included linebacker prospect Junior Joseph and defensive lineman Cole Ormsby.

The 235-pound linebacker Joseph had a 35-inch vertical leap and a 9-foot-11 broad jump, which likely turned some heads. Joseph only recorded 24 reps on the bench press, about six less than his average, but that’s not bad for a guy recovering from a torn labrum suffered in UConn’s season-opener.

Ormsby, a Windsor, Connecticut native, surprised many with his performance, going rep-for-rep with Fatukasi on the bench press, matching the stud lineman’s 33-rep total.

Also attending the event as spectators cheering on the UConn seniors were former Husky defensive end Kendall Reyes and fullback Anthony Sherman, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.


Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.