By EWU Athletics
Highlighted by the appearance of four-time All-American and two-time FCS Player of the Year Cooper Kupp, six former Eastern Washington University football players took part in testing for professional football scouts at EWU's annual Pro Day on Tuesday (March 28) in Cheney, Wash.
"It's awesome to be back with guys I've competed for the past five years," said Kupp, whose home base has been in Southern California in the days leading up to EWU's Pro Day. "They are guys I've grown to love and respect that friendship. Even though we've been apart we've stayed in contact. It's different to be out here and do it together one last time. It was really special spending time with them."
Kupp, a four-time All-American and two-time FCS Player of the Year, was joined by fellow wide receiver Kendrick Bourne at the NFL Combine in February, and they reunited in Cheney on Tuesday. A third All-America wide receiver, Shaq Hill, also participated in Pro Day testing, as well as linebacker Miquiyah Zamora, All-America defensive end Samson Ebukam and quarterback Jordan West.
With weather in the low 40's with a stiff breeze, Kupp ran a 4.56 time in the 40-yard dash to improve his time of 4.62 at the combine. But for him, the chance at the end of the testing session to run routes and catch passes from West in front of scouts was even more important.
"I was excited," he said. "When you are out here doing football stuff – throwing the football around and running routes – that's fun. I'm excited about getting back to football."
At just shy of 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 240 pounds, Ebukam had impressive numbers to go along with his imposing size. His vertical jump of 39 inches, broad jump of 10'10" and 40 time of 4.45 were eye-opening. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times.
Bourne also improved his 40 time from 4.68 at the combine to 4.53, and his vertical jump by two inches to 36. He even hit double-figures in the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 10 times.
"I was definitely glad with how it went," Bourne said. "I felt like I ran fast, jumped well and benched pretty well."
"I think I hit it – I heard a good time -- so I was definitely happy," Bourne said of his 40 time. "I was hoping to get 12 reps on the bench and I had 10, so I'm glad I hit double digits – that was cool. I wanted to jump a little better – 34 made me feel like I couldn't bounce. But today I jumped pretty well with a 36. I'm definitely happy and in a good place right now.
For Hill, Pro Day was the next step for him to gain professional opportunities.
"I had some okay numbers, but could have done better," said Hill. "It's definitely a big weight off my shoulders. I think I handled it pretty well. I've had some injuries, but I battled through and did pretty good."
Besides speed, agility and weight-lifting, the tests Tuesday included height, weight and other measurements. The former players are all hoping for possible professional football opportunities in the weeks ahead leading up to the NFL Draft in late April and subsequent free agent possibilities.
"Everybody talks about it and hypes it up," said Kupp. "It's a different animal to be evaluated for such a long period of time, and all the different things you are a part of – the all-star game, the combine, pro day and all the workouts. It makes sense and I understand it."
The NFL Draft takes place in Philadelphia, Pa., and begins on Thursday, April 27 at 5 p.m. Pacific time with the first round. Rounds two and three are on April 28 starting at 4 p.m., and rounds 4-7 begin on April 29 at 9 a.m. ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network will all provide coverage, and it will be streamed via NFL.com.
Kupp is expected to be either in Philadelphia or California for the draft, and isn't as concerned with where he ends up or in what round. The opportunity is what matters most to him.
"I'm just going to be the best me I can be," he said. "I know I'm going to give my best no matter where I end up. I know God has a plan for me, and wherever that is I'm going to make sure they get the best football player they possibly can get."
"I'm hoping I'll get drafted, or whatever happens happens," said Bourne. "But if I get to a camp I'm going to take advantage of it. I'm hearing late rounds -- I'm just even happy just to hear that. We're going to stay positive about it and compete as hard as I can when I get there. I'll get a chance, so it's all about how I practice and approach the days when I get there."
Among the 15 former Eastern players to be drafted in school history, EWU's highest draft choice in school history is offensive tackle Michael Roos, who was selected in the second round by Tennessee in 2005 as the 41st pick overall. He went on to play 10 seasons with the Titans, starting every game he played.
EWU's next-highest choices were fourth-round choices Taiwan Jones as a running back by Oakland in 2011 (125th overall) and safety Matt Johnson by Dallas in 2012 (135th overall). Eastern's top wide receiver drafted was Bob Picard in the sixth round by Philadelphia in 1973 (132nd overall) and EWU's last draftee was offensive tackle Jake Rodgers in the seventh round by Atlanta in 2015.
EWU Pro Day – March 28, 2017
|Arm Length||Hand |
|Vertical Jump||Broad Jump||Bench @225||40 Dash||10-yd Split/ |
|20-yd Shuttle||60-yd Shuttle||3-Cone Drill|
|WR Cooper Kupp ||6'1 1/2"||202||31 3/8"||9 1/4"||75 3/8"||29 1/2"||4.56||1.57/2.70||4.10||11.28||6.53|
|WR Cooper Kupp (2017 NFL Combine)||6'2"||204||31 1/2"||9 1/2"||31"||9'8"||4.62||4.08||6.75|
|WR Kendrick Bourne ||6'1 3/8"||198||32 1/2"||9 1/8"||76 7/8"||36"||10||4.53||1.58/2.63||11.12|
|WR Kendrick Bourne (2017 NFL Combine)||6'1"||203||32 1/2"||9 1/8"||34"||10'5"||9||4.68||4.21||6.73|
|WR Shaq Hill ||5'9 3/8"||193||30"||8 1/4"||71 1/8"||35 1/2"||10'4"||21||4.41||1.51/2.53|
|DE Samson Ebukam ||6'1 7/8"||240||32 1/2||9 5/8"||78 3/4"||39"||10'10"||24||4.45||1.53/2.57||4.31||11.64||7.02|
|LB Miquiyah Zamora ||5'11 1/2"||223||31"||9 1/8"||74 3/4"||32 1/2"||9'9"||17|
|QB Jordan West ||6'4 1/4"||217||31 7/8"||9 1/2"||75 3/4"||27 1/2"||8'11"||4.95||1.67/2.86||4.41||6.93|