With the 2012 NFL Draft nearly a month away, a handful of former Western Michigan University football players were in Kalamazoo on Tuesday to prove that they belong on a team’s roster going into next season.
WMU’s Pro Day, which is held every offseason, acts as a showcase for players to complete NFL Combine-style tasks, such as the 40 yard dash, vertical jump and bench press.
Among those featured at this year’s Pro Day were wide receiver Jordan White, defensive tackle Drew Nowak and kicker John Potter.
Of all of the players who performed at Pro Day, White was the only one who also attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and is also the only Bronco project to be drafted in 2012.
White said that he thought he did well, and tried to do the same thing he has done so far in his career.
“I think I did good. I thought everybody did good,” White said. “Everyone kept saying, ‘you catch away from your body and run good routs.’ I play receiver, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
White has been praised many times for his ability to catch the ball. Former Bronco and current Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings once said that White has some of the best hands he has ever seen.
White said that, although he had some interaction with NFL scouts—representatives from a number of teams, including the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals were in attendance—it was less about football and more about White’s personal life.
“There’s no real feedback that they can give me as far as my game,” he said. “It’s more personal questions, family questions and different questions like that.”
One of the biggest improvements that White made during Pro Day was on his 40 yard dash time, which he dropped to a sub-4.60 mark.
White said that his game most emulates former NFL receiver Derrick Mason, who White considers to be “one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL.”
White said that the biggest thing he can bring to an organization is his football IQ.
“My knowledge of the game is far beyond a lot of players in the draft,” he said. “The emphasis that I’ve placed on it has made me watch a lot more tape and realize that it’s a lot more mental.”
With five new wide receivers entering the program next season, White said that Bronco fans will have a lot to look forward to in the future.
“These guys are going to be unstoppable as a unit,” he said.
Nowak, who is projected to be one of the better players to go undrafted, said that his life has become quite a bit different since the end of the 2011 season.
“It’s changed dramatically. I just do football,” he said. “I work out four hours a day and eat six times a day. I basically do football, eating and sleeping. It’s my life.”
Nowak said that the biggest improvement he has made since the start of the offseason has been his overall physique.
“I’ve gotten bigger, faster and stronger. I’ve put the weight in the right spots,” he said. “I had a little bit of a gut during the season, so I tried to put that weight somewhere else. I haven’t lost any weight since I left; I’ve just kind of repositioned it.”
He said that, outside of Pro Day, the whole process has been relatively smooth.
“It hasn’t been that stressful until today, really,” Nowak said. “Today has been the most stressful part.”
Leading up to the NFL Draft, Nowak will continue to work out in Wisconsin. White, meanwhile, will be working out for the Kansas City Chiefs at Waldo Stadium today, and will continue to work out in Kalamazoo and travel to meet with NFL teams.