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Former ’Dogs work out for scouts

By | March 13, 2009 | Sports (4)

Juan Villa / Collegian File Photo
Bear Pascoe and other former Bulldogs work out for NFL scouts in preparation for the NFL draft on April 25-26

With the NFL draft quickly approaching, former Bulldogs put their skills on display at the Fresno State practice facility in front of scouts and cameras Wednesday.

Of the 2008 senior class, only quarterback Tom Brandstater and tight end Bear Pascoe were invited to the NFL scouting combine. The pro day was a chance for some Bulldogs to improve times and numbers.

For others, it was their only opportunity to workout for scouts.

Being at home in Fresno, as compared to Lucas Oil field in Indianapolis, Ind., calmed nerves and removed some heavy pressure.

“It is definitely a different vibe and a different feeling going around the place,” Brandstater said.

Brandstater was not able to workout because of strained muscle in his right side. The injury occurred at the combine, and he has not been able to throw in practice or workouts since the injury.

“I showed up and did well at the combine, so it’s not going to be a negative that I’m not working out,” Brandstater said.

Pascoe was not as pleased with his showing at the combine. In Indy, he ran a 4.95-second 40-yard dash. On Wednesday, Pascoe improved his time to a 4.82 second 40, which could make the difference in a signing bonus or a spot on the practice squad.

“I felt that I did very good [at the pro day],” Pascoe said. “I improved my times from Indy and that was my main goal.”

A newer, slimmer Pascoe

Both Pascoe and Brandstater said that at the combine, they met with all 32 teams in three days worth of meeting and are not clear about where they will be drafted.

Pascoe was comfortable with his body of work at Fresno State and with his draft stock at the time, especially after improving his 40-yard dash time.

“All of the cards are on the table right now. I have done everything I can do to improve my stock and my status in the NFL,” Pascoe said. “They’ve seen my film and seen what I can do.”

The improvement in his time might be due to the weight he has dropped recently. Pascoe weighed in at 265 pounds while playing for the ’Dogs, but has cut 12 pounds since.

Weighing 253 pounds has left Pascoe feeling more athletic and smooth, which could help improve his stock.

Tough competition for former ‘Dogs

Other Bulldogs from the 2008 senior class working out at the Fresno State pro day were defensive back Sharrod Davis, tight end Drew Lubinsky and offensive lineman Cole Popovich.

Lubinsky and Popovich both performed very well in the 225-pound bench press, outlifting Pascoe. Lubinksy lifted 23 repetitions and Pascoe lifted 14.

But Popovich, who missed his senior season with a leg injury, benched 37 reps, well above many linemen prospects in the draft.

Davis performed well in the 40-yard dash time, running a 4.55-second 40.

While pro day workouts were designed for graduating seniors entering the NFL draft, two other former Bulldogs took advantage of the scouts’ attention.

Defensive lineman Jason Stewart and receiver Rodney Wright, two Arena Football League players, are now searching for a new home in the NFL. The AFL cancelled its 2009 season, leaving players like Wright and Stewart on the job market.

Wright improved his 40-yard dash time at the pro day to 4.48-seconds.

None of the 11 participants in the pro day know, but Pascoe and the others all have the same hope.

“I’m going to bust my butt to make a team,” Pascoe said. “Hopefully I’ll be playing somewhere next fall.”

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