Ferris players prepping to be professionals

Ferris football seniors got a chance to show their talents to NFL and CFL scouts at major university pro days.

Central Michigan opened its doors on March 18 to quarterback Jason Vander Laan, receiver Antonio Agurs and offensive tackle Cody Dingeldey with scouts from 27 NFL teams and two CFL teams attending.

Vander Laan worked out as a quarterback and tight end. At 6 feet 3 inches and 248 pounds, JVL is a freakish athlete with a 4.77 40-yard time, so he has the physical ability to play in the NFL. However, some scouts think Vander Laan might have to change positions.

A scout was quoted in the Chicago Tribune by Brad Biggs saying, “He’s Tim Tebow 2.0. Same offense, same throwing motion. He’s going to have to play H-back.”

Vander Laan has expressed his willingness to change positions if need be to play in the NFL—something that Tebow would not do, which could have led to teams turning away.

Agurs was approached by multiple NFL and AFL teams during his impressive pro day. He was the fastest player at the combine with a 4.47 40-yard time, but he did not outrun the attention of Raider’s scouts prior to the pro day.

The day of the workout, a Raider scout texted Agurs telling him to arrive early. The Jets, Dolphins, Rams and two AFL teams approached Agurs for interviews during the event in which the 5-foot-8-inch receiver had led all participants with a 2.6 short shuttle time and 9-foot-10-inch broad jump.

Agurs said:

“I just want to show scouts that I’m talented enough to play on the next level. I don’t care where I get drafted. I feel that the team that believes in me is the team I want to be a part of.”

Dingeldey showed off his strength posting 31 reps in the bench press which was the third best of the day. He also had the fifth longest reach at 78 inches.

The University of Michigan held a pro day on March 18 with scouts from all 32 NFL teams present. Receiver Jacob Lampman and defensive end Justin Zimmer participated with Zimmer standing out among the Div. 1 talent.

Zimmer put the league on notice by benching 225 pounds 44 times. The most at this year’s NFL combine was 34.

Zimmer said, “It was nerve wracking having all these scouts watching me. I wasn’t nervous during the bench because once I got into it, I was locked in.”

His athleticism for his size stood out the most. At 300 pounds, he ran a 4.8 second 40-yard dash and had a 9-foot-9-inch broad jump.

Lampman caught balls well according to reports. He ran a 4.47 second 40-yard dash, recorded a 39 inch vertical and a 4.11 second short shuttle.

These five players have their hopes set on a dream that began when they were kids. Now they are a month away from realizing that dream as men.