Penguins work out for NFL scouts
YOUNGSTOWN – Youngstown State University running back Jamaine Cook was up at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning tossing and turning. The senior couldn’t sleep because he knew in six hours, he had the biggest job interview of his life.
Cook, along with teammates Will Shaw, Lamar Mady, Mark Pratt and Aronde Stanton, performed in front of 12 NFL scouts at YSU’s pro day at the W.A.T.T.S. Indoor Training Facility on the campus of Youngstown State.
In attendance were the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.
“Definitely there were a little bit of jitters, this is the biggest interview of your life,” Cook said. “This could be life changing. This is huge. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Cook looked crisp in the position and cone drills, but struggled in the 40-yard dash. He clocked in with an unofficial time of 4.78 seconds.
“I felt like we all did pretty good, but you know there’s always room for improvement,” Cook said. “I didn’t get all the numbers I wanted, but I felt like we showed pretty well as a whole.
“The only thing I wasn’t happy with was my 40-time. I had to start three or four times and that got into my head a little bit. It’s all in God’s hands from here.”
Shaw, a tight end for the Penguins, had the fastest 40 time of the day with a 4.72. Unlike Cook, Shaw said he “slept like a baby” on Monday night because of all the work he had been putting in preparing for Tuesday’s workout.
“Trying to juggle taking 17 credits and trying to get enough hours of training in and trying to rest your body (was difficult),” Shaw said. “And eating right. I felt like I’ve spent all my time at home cooking. It wasn’t a lot of time to get everything in and I really sacrificed some time spending on the field just running routes so I wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked to have been.”
Shaw had a good day all around with a 34.5 vertical jump, 10 feet 2 inch broad jump and 24 reps on the bench press. With the day now over, all he can do for the next month is wait until the NFL Draft, which begins April 25.
“I try not to get too ahead of myself,” Shaw said. “I’m sure once it happens I’ll get nervous. I’ll probably be fine until that moment, then I’ll start worrying about something.”
While Shaw and Cook will wait, offensive lineman Lamar Mady will have an opportunity to visit the Carolina Panthers’ facility over YSU’s spring break. Mady, who also performed at the NFL Combine in February, used Tuesday’s workout to enhance some numbers, and to prove to scouts that he’s worthy of playing in the NFL.
“As far as stuff I redid at the combine I felt that I did a lot better,” Mady said. “The combine, there were a lot of ups and downs and the days leading up to it, was kind of tiring. Today, I just felt that I had another chance to prove my real numbers. The position drills, I mean they weren’t the best, but I felt that I made a statement as far as playing another position and the position I’m regarded in. All in all it was a good day.”
Mady improved on his 40-time, his vertical jump and his three-cone drill. On Tuesday, he ran a 5.32 in the 40, jumped 26 inches on the vertical and ran the three-cone drill in 7.65 seconds.
He had the second-most reps at bench press at the combine with 35, but didn’t bench on Tuesday.
For the next month, the Penguins will sit and wait to see if their name is called at any point over the three-day draft. The last YSU player to be drafted was Harry Deligianis by Jacksonville in 1998.