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Many historical and memorable battles have been fought on 100-yard fields across the country. Now the time to once again recruit new forces is near.
The National Football League’s Annual Player Selection Meeting determines which amateur college football players will be contending for what teams in the near future.
The 2007 NFL Draft will take place on April 28-29. The weekend’s results will determine the fate of the best college football players in the nation.
Ten seniors from the CU football team participated in Pro Timing Day following this past season: center Mark Fenton, guard Brian Daniels, safety JJ Billingsley, cornerbacks Lorenzo Sims and Terry Washington, defensive end Abraham Wright, linebacker Thaddeus Washington, running back Mell Holliday, wide receiver Blake Mackey and place kicker Mason Crosby.
Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins said he has spoken with most of his former Buffs who hope to make the transition into the pros next year.
“We tell them the same things we tell everybody,” Hawkins said. “In life you keep your feet on the ground, you work hard, you do what is right and things happen the way they are supposed to.”
Hawkins and members of his staff are currently out recruiting, but he said they would keep an eye on the draft’s results.
“We’ll definitely keep in touch with those guys, wish them good luck and hope that things work out for them,” he said.
It’s no secret that many people expect Crosby to be the first CU student-athlete to be chosen in the draft. The All-American kicker, who made 17 of 19 field goals inside 50 yards during his senior season, has earned a top ranking at his position.
The only reservation teams may have stems from his high-altitude kicking experience. But Crosby has recorded efforts that combat that argument, his successful field-goal attempt from 58 yards at Miami in 2005.
While place kickers traditionally do not cause much of a stir, the Oakland Raiders did draft rookie Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th pick overall in 2000. Two other kickers have been chosen within the first three rounds of the draft over the past decade.
Crosby is expected to get a phone call on the first day of the draft.
Daniels is another CU athlete that could hear his name called over the weekend. He is presumed to be a potential late round pick. The guard’s smaller size is an issue, but his mental game has boosted his promise.
Fenton has garnered attention that projects him as a late second-day pick. Unfortunately, the center missed most of his senior season as a Buffalo due to an injury. Regardless, Fenton was invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, but he strained a calf during a 40-yard dash attempt. He lacks the bulk and strength of an early-pick prospect, and his toughness and instincts are looked at questionably.
Wright weighed in at 242 pounds at the Combine, making him the lightest defensive lineman to participate. He is considered undersized, but his playmaking abilities and experience at multiple positions could help his chances. He may get some looks throughout the second day of the draft.
While most of the attention this weekend will be placed on first-pick potentials, last season’s Heisman candidates and big names fluctuating up and down the charts, CU still has talent to offer in this year’s draft.
By Sunday night, the CU community will have a good idea of what lies ahead for Colorado football’s class of 2007. The process can be a distraction, and Hawkins hopes his former players can keep their heads on straight to ensure bright futures.
“At this point (the players) still need to take their education seriously and maintain good perspectives in their lives. I think the guys who do that usually end up in good shape,” he said.
“Hopefully they get the opportunities that they want and deserve, but this is not an endpoint for them by any means.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Corey Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.