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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

Former Wildcats return to Arizona for NFL Pro Day

Former Arizona football players returned to campus on Tuesday for the UA’s NFL pro day, a mix of a job interview and a homecoming.

About a dozen former Wildcats worked out for NFL scouts at Arizona Stadium and were tested in the standard drills, such as the 40-yard dash as well as position-specific drills.

“I think it went well,” former UA safety Jared Tevis said. “It was a good day for us; I felt like I showed what I was capable of. I probably could have got a little better start to my 40, but everything else felt good. I think I executed well, and I think my training paid off.”

The workouts were closed to the media, but the former Wildcats said they were happy with their workouts despite no Arizona player getting invited to last month’s NFL Combine. 

“I was a little nervous at the start, just because you don’t know what to expect,” former UA offensive lineman Mickey Baucus said. “But as it went along, it was just like training with the guys again. We’re all rooting for each other, pumping each other up, so it was a good time.”

Pro day offered players a chance to impress NFL scouts. Former UA receiver/tight end Austin Hill said he showed the pro talent evaluators that he had recovered from his 2013 knee injury.

Hill was the Wildcats’ second leading receiver in 2014, with 49 catches for 635 yards and four touchdowns. He was Arizona’s leading receiver in 2012 and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.

“I was able to come out here during pro day today and really show that my explosiveness and really show that my knee is 100 percent,” Hill said. “I think a lot of teams weren’t really sure, and I think I put that to rest.”

Conversely, Tevis did not do any bench presses, because he’s still recovering from a dislocated left elbow that he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl. He just started benching last week and didn’t want to post an inaccurate number.

“It came out and they put it back in on the field,” Tevis said. “It’s been a long road to get it back feeling right; functionally, it’s all the way there. I’m still strengthening it, but it feels good. I’m back to almost 100 percent.”

NFL pro day also served as a homecoming for the 2014 seniors.

Tevis has been working out in Phoenix at Fischer Sports with Brett Fischer, who is also a physical therapist for the Arizona Cardinals, and athletic coach Will Sullivan. He said that NFL stars Colin Kaepernick, Tyrann Mathieu, Darrelle Revis and Carson Palmer also work out there.

Hill prepared at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.

“They got me really ready for all of this,” Hill said. “I’m really happy that I chose to go out there. I think they prepared me very well.”

Baucus said he trained at EXOS in San Diego, Calif., with former Pac-12 players Nate Orchard of Utah and former Washington Huskies Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson.

“It was great,” Baucus said about returning to campus. “That’s the thing about being out in San Diego. I’ve been with these guys since I was 18. I miss training with them, you know? We’re like a big family. So, it was nice to be back, seeing everyone again.”

Up next for the former Wildcats are personal workouts, but Hill said he’s excited for the chance to relax a bit after seeing his friends post poolside photos on Instagram following their pro days.

“I’m going to go find a pool and post a picture as soon as possible,” Hill said, laughing.

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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