Players showcase skills at MSU Pro Day


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State football program held its Pro Day in Bozeman Tuesday morning, as five Bobcat seniors and a few others worked out in front of scouts, hoping to make their professional football dreams come true.

Pro Days are designed to measure the physical attributes and skills of a football player: height, weight, speed, and strength. However, they also put nerves to the test.

"I think the adrenaline is still pumping a little bit, but I'm sure I'll settle down here in a couple of minutes," said Montana State linebacker Fletcher Collins after his workout. "But it's just what happens when you put nine weeks of work in and it comes down to a couple of hours, so you hope for the best and do your best. Honestly, I just went out there to try to have fun and just cut it loose."

Each player was put through his paces by five NFL scouts, who were watching their every move.

"I was more nervous for today than playing in front of 25,000 people at Washington-Grizzly Stadium," said Bobcats running back Chad Newell. "It was an odd thing, just because all eyes are on you, so it's a little bit different. But, it's definitely nice to see all that time and work pay off at the end of the day."

The five Cats players in attendance were Collins, Newell, offensive lineman JP Flynn, linebacker Jessie Clark, and cornerback John Walker.

It was also an opportunity for three Frontier Conference players to showcase their skills: Montana Tech running back Nolan Saraceni, Montana Tech safety Gunnar Kayser, and Montana Western tight end Matt Lickfold.

Saraceni won back-to-back Frontier Conference Player of the Year awards, but the Billings native also suffered a knee injury in the Orediggers final game of the regular season.

"Coming back from injury definitely put a lot of drive there for me, so coming out here and trying to perform my best was definitely my top goal," Saraceni said. "It was unfortunate the way things ended, but you know, that's football. Having this (Pro Day) definitely drove me to train harder and get all those minor details in."

For all of the MSU players, Pro Day granted them one last chance to take the field at Bobcat Stadium.

"I love that stadium," Flynn said. "I posted a little post on Instagram last night about how excited I was just to compete there one last time. That place will hold a very, very special place in my heart until the day I die."

All eight players will continue training and will anxiously await the start of the NFL Draft, which begins on April 27.