As the NFL Draft kicks off on April 27 and names start to come off of the draft board, hundreds of anxious players will sit and wait with friends and family for their special moment.
Although many athletes will get to celebrate their name being called during the three day event, the majority won’t be so lucky and will work to get signed by a team as an undrafted free agent later in the offseason.
University of Cincinnati wide receiver Nate Cole and Kent State University defensive end Terence Waugh are two athletes with a lot of question marks surrounding their names entering the 2017 draft. We talked to the two NFL prospects prior to their upcoming pro day workouts to see how they are preparing for the challenge ahead.
Nate Cole, University of Cincinatti, WR.
Cole, a four-year receiver with the Bearcats, caught 57 passes for 518 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season as one of the main receiving threats. Over his first three seasons he totaled 38 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns in a smaller role.
Looking ahead to his pro day at the University of Cincinnati, Cole said he knows it is one of the most important opportunities of his young career.
“Pro day is like a job interview and essentially the most important one of my life,” he said. “Especially for me trying to do something that I love and that I have been doing since I was young, my pro day is the best way to show my abilities and get a job in the NFL.”
Cole said some of the things he has been working on coming into his pro day is getting his body in the best shape possible to prepare for his workout, working on his running starts and technique for his 40 yard dash, and most importantly continuing to improve his position specific skills.
“The biggest things I’ve been working on to show off to the scouts is my route running ability and my pass catching,” he said. “Those are some of my best skills I’ve shown through the season, but I’m also hoping to shock them with my 40 time.”
Terence Waugh, Kent State University, DE.
Waugh undoubtedly had his best year at Kent State as a senior, recording 8 sacks and 64 tackles as a quick pass rusher off of the edge. During his junior year he also recorded 9 sacks and 57 tackles, after not receiving much playing time his freshman and sophomore seasons.
This offseason has been a busy one for Waugh, as he has balanced 18 credit hours in school, an internship, and driving an hour five days a week to train for his pro day.
During his daily workouts Waugh has been focusing on strength training three days a week, mixed in with vertical and broad jump training. On the other two days, Waugh said he is working on speed training drills such as the 40 yard dash, the L drill, and the short shuttle.
Along with the physical work, Waugh also has been working on his health. He is eating only lean meats such as chicken and fish with rice, vegetables, or fruit and making sure he is getting 8-9 hours of rest each night, while mentally laying low and keeping to himself during the process.
Although he is seen as a pass rushing threat, Waugh continues to work on his run stopping ability to increase his versatility and impress scouts even more.
“I’ve dedicated myself to being more of a run stopper this season and I would like those abilities to be just as good as my pass rushing,” he said. “This will make me more of a complete defensive lineman and more appealing.”
Just like Cole, Waugh said his upcoming pro day means everything for him when it comes to his future.