Thursday, March 26, 2009
The University of Maine pro day was supposed to be the Jovan Belcher show, as the former UMaine defensive end continued to show scouts he could be effective as a 3-4 linebacker. Turns out UMaine had some more talent to showcase as well.
Linebacker Andrew Downey, who looked to be in excellent shape, stole the show on Thursday, showing speed, agility, pass-catching ability, and versatility as scouts looked on. Among the highlights of his day included a team best 27 reps in the bench press, three 40 yard dash times ranging from 4.54 to 4.66, and phenomenal vertical leap of 37.5 inches. Even Downey was shocked by the vertical.
"My (personal record) on the vert was 32," said Downey. "No one really (improves) that much, I was very surprised."
Downey also went out and showed the ability to long-snap, a skill that could keep him in football leagues for years.
"(Long snapping) is not really something I have had a lot of coaching in," said Downey. "It was something I did when I was younger, but if you bring a lot of things to plate it only helps."
Belcher, who had 23 bench press reps and a 7.28 three cone drill, struggled a bit with his forty time, coming in at around a 4.79-4.85, which was more of a product of technique than a lack of foot speed. He showed his skill on the position drills though, showing a solid ability to rush the passer from the linebacker stance. It was his second pro day in three days (he worked out for 13 scouts at Hofstra two days prior to UMaine), and even he admitted it was a lot to do.
"I am tired," said an exhausted Belcher at the end of the day.
Jhamal Fluellen also had a great day, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, a 6.82 second 3 cone drill, a 10 foot 3 inch broad jump and an impressive 35 inch vertical. He was surprised by his 60 yard shuttle.
"I was just going off of straight athletic ability on that," said Fluellen."They said I had a pretty good time."
Kash Keifer, the punter, also had a good day, showing a knack for downing balls inside the 10 yard line while showing good distance and and an ability to kick in inclement conditions.
"I can kick 50 yards pretty much every time," said Keifer."It's a matter of getting the right hang time on it. I was pretty happy with my directional kicking today too."
Soundbite of the day went to Chris Arnao, who impressed with his size and length.
"I gave up drinking for three months for this," said Arnao."I was nervous, but seeing everyone there cheering us on was great."
Lamir Whetstone and Lionel Nixon competed in various, drills, showing agility and football knowledge as well.
All in all, a great day for an outgoing class of UMaine seniors, and one thing is for certain. The UMaine Black Bears, who have 9 current NFL players, should be adding to more players to that list.