The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 13, 2014

Dream of making the NFLcontinues at OU’s Pro Day

NORMAN — In the past, Oklahoma’s Pro Day has featured some big names putting on prime time performances. They include quarterback Sam Bradford, linebacker Torrence Marshall, safety Roy Williams and tackle Trent Williams, who all used the event to bolster their stock in the NFL draft.

However, this year was a little different. Instead of the sure fire first-round picks or big name quarterbacks looking to solidify a spot, this year’s Pro Day was more workman like. The 23 players who showed up at the Everest Indoor Training Facility Wednesday were fighting to hold on to a dream.

“I was just trying to open some eyes,” Norman North alum Beau Blankenship said. “Trying to show them what I can do. Coming from a little bit smaller school, this is good opportunity to get out here in front of all these scouts.”

Blankenship played at the University of Ohio but knew he would find a bigger crop of NFL scouts at the Sooners’ Pro Day. The 5-foot-8, 206-pound tailback got a hold of the OU coaching staff to see if they had room for him to take part in their Pro Day in his hometown of Norman.

Other surprise participants included quarterback Drew Allen, who had transferred to Syracuse. He was accompanied by former four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia, who has worked with Allen and WR Lacolton Bester.

Also on hand was tailback Damien Williams, who was kicked off the team late in the season. Neither he nor Allen had a tremendous day, but each had their good moments.

The Sooners’ pro day lasted five hours as the NFL hopefuls went through drills such as the 40-yard dash, broad jump, 60-yard shuttle and various positional workouts.

It was the first time former Sooners’ linebacker Corey Nelson was seen in action since suffering a torn pectoral muscle against TCU on Oct. 5. The 6-0 senior applied for a medical redshirt, but was denied by the Big 12 and NCAA.

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