Eagles host Pro Day hours before NFL pulls plug
Six NFL teams visit Statesboro to watch players workout, drill
STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia Southern head coach Chad Lunsford admits there were some nervous moments over the last few days.
Not because of an upcoming game or National Signing Day, but what coronavirus may do to his program’s pro day.
“I never received word or anything like that, but when you started seeing the NFL kind of pull some scouts off the road and that type of stuff. We got a little bit nervous about it," Lunsford says. "But nobody ever came up and said ‘Hey, you’re going to have to cancel it,’. I thought it was very important to keep the thing going, if we were going to be allowed to, so that our guys would get their opportunity.”
Got the opportunity they did, and just in the nick of time.
The Eagles and visiting Savannah State Tigers wrapped up the 2020 Pro Day around 11:00 a.m. Almost four hours later, the NFL announced they were prohibiting in-person NFL Draft related visits due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The move cancels any future Pro Days until further notice.
“Luckily, the scouts were still coming,” Lunsford says. “We were able to have our pro day and give our guys a chance.”
Six NFL teams (Jaguars, Jets, Bengals, Bills, Bears, and Browns) watched players for Georgia Southern and Savannah State work out and do position drills Friday morning.
The two players drawing most attention were Eagle cornerback Kindle Vildor and kicker Tyler Bass, both coming off strong performances at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine in the last few weeks.
Neither worked out, but Bass kicked and Vildor participated in positional drills. Both players said today was about following up after making two good first impressions in this pre-draft process.
“I feel like I’ve pretty much showed everybody, because there were people out there doubting my speed and stuff like that,” Vildor says. “When I went to the Combine, I was able to show that I can compete against top guys."
“I hit some really good balls,” Bass says. “I was able to show them that the Senior Bowl and the Combine was not a one-time thing. I’ve been
doing it my whole career and I was able to show them that today.”
Bass nailed a 62-yard field goal at one point during the workout.
SAVANNAH STATE PARTICIPATES AS WELL
Several Savannah State players made their way to Statesboro to participate in the Pro Day as well.
Head coach Shawn Quinn says representatives for all 32 teams stopped by Savannah at some point this year to inquire about some of his players. He says having an opportunity like this not only helps the players in the program now, but those in the future as well.
“It’s exciting to get these guys the opportunity, because we’re going to have guys in the future that will have NFL opportunities just like these guys will,” Quinn says. “In recruiting, we want to give that.”
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