March 13, 2021
Photo by Richie Melby/Montana Sports
Pro Days have taken center-stage this year with the cancellation of the NFL Scouting Combine due to COVID-19 still rapidly spreading nationwide. The official inception of these college workout sessions for NFL Coaches, General Managers, Scouts, and other personnel was on March 5th ultimately lasting until April 9th. This week's featured Pro Days were at North Dakota State, Clemson, and Northwestern. Here's what select student-athletes from their respective teams and Northwestern Wildcats Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald vocalized after Pro Days via videoconferences.
North Dakota State Bison
Quarterback: Trey Lance
Question: The New York Jets are presently at your Pro Day. Have you had a formal or informal meeting with them yet?
Answer: I have had formal Zoom meetings with NFL Clubs over the last few months with the interview process extending until the NFL Draft, but I won't publicly divulge which teams I met with.
Left Tackle: Dillon Radunz
Question: The NFL Scouting Combine being canceled this year puts more significance on today's Pro Day for you. How do you think you performed today?
Answer: I performed well even though I think I can be better in terms of overall strength, and drill timings, but with this Pro Day I accomplished what I needed to. Ultimately, I'm content with how I performed/competed today.
Running Back: Travis Etienne
Question: Trevor Lawrence was your quarterback at Clemson for the majority of your college career. Why was it vital to have him aid you in gameweek preparation, individual workouts, and in-game decision-making throughout your college career?
Answer: Just Trevor Lawrence being Trevor Lawrence was vital in aiding me to be the best version of myself during gameweek preparation, individual workouts, and in-game decision-making at Clemson. He's cool, calm, and collected allowing not just me, but the rest of the players on the squad to be themselves.
Question: Dabo Swinney is one of the best coaches in College Football currently. What has he taught you in your four years at Clemson that will you take to the NFL?
Answer: Dabo Swinney taught us to never take anything for granted. Each year you have to start over from the bottom and earn everything. The work ethic he instilled in me and the other student-athletes on the roster is gonna last us a lifetime. It's the main reason that the other athletes participating in today's Pro Day are gonna succeed in the NFL.
Wide Receiver: Amari Rodgers
Question: The Senior Bowl is a key learning experience for every player that attends before Pro Day in your case at Clemson. Was that week and game helpful for your preparation before today's workout?
Answer: Senior Bowl week and the game were helpful preparation for today's workout. Just to comprehend that NFL Coaches, General Managers, Scouts, and personnel were at that event assisted in making me more comfortable coming into today eliminating all nervousness as I was able to do my usual routine moments ago.
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
Question: Pro Days are very important for certain student-athletes as it is their way of establishing themselves before the NFL Draft. What will be your message to the players that are taking part in today's Pro Day knowing that the impending workout will impact their immediate future?
Answer: I have already spoken to them multiple times about today's Pro Day. Ultimately, it's about having fun, trusting yourself, and enjoying the moment as you have earned this. Think back to the day you began playing football and dreaming of having an opportunity to be or play in the NFL so here's just the next phase. They have prepared well and hopefully, the players execute as they would in a normal setting/game falling back to their training throughout the season today without putting anything more into the impending workout mentally or emotionally so the Pro Day can have a positive impact on their immediate future.
The video of these interviews is now available on YouTube. You can choose to view it down below.
A special thanks to Mr. Ryan Perreault, Mr. Sam Drexler, Mr. Cody T. Enos, Mr. Raymond L O'Connell, Mr. Zak Gilbert, Mr. Jeff Kallin, along with the Northwestern Athletic Communications Staff, Clemson Athletic Communications Staff, North Dakota State Athletics Communications, and the NFL Communications Staff for arranging and conducting the videoconferences spectacularly. Make sure to tune into the NFL Draft commencing from April 29th and concluding on May 1st on NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, and ABC.