by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
A brief look at some local college talent with chances to hook on with NFL teams this spring.
BOSTON COLLEGE – Beyond offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo and linebacker/inspirational-sports-movie-waiting-to-happen Mark Herzlich (a New England fan favorite), the Eagles could place a few more players into the league next year.
Candidates include tackle Damik Scafe and defensive end Alex Albright. Scafe anchored BC’s defensive line at 6-2, 300 pounds. At the Eagle’s pro day, Albright (6-4, 250) displayed solid quickness, including a 4.03-second 20-yard shuttle.
UCONN – A lot of Huskies look to make their mark in the NFL. At the top, there’s running back Jordan Todman, who is graded as a Day Two prospect. In the middle rounds, look for outside linebackers Lawrence Wilson and Scott Lutrus, productive, speedier guys who fit a 4-3 defense.
Keeping the Pats in mind, Todman and offensive guard Zach Hurd seem to fit best on New England’s roster. Meanwhile, fullback Anthony Sherman might find a spot on a team willing to devote a spot to that position.
On to standouts from some of the region’s smaller programs…
DARTMOUTH – Charles Bay, DE:
Bay put up solid numbers at his pro day, including a 10-foot broad jump and 25 bench press reps. The 6-2, 250-pounder should get to show off his stuff at an NFL camp this spring.
HARVARD – Collin Zych, SS: An impressive pro day, including a 4.45-second 40, will get Zych a second look from scouts.
MAINE – Wide receiver Jeremy Kelley has one of the more compelling stories going into this week. Kelley possesses the size (6-6, 225) and quickness (3.89 20-yard shuttle, 6.60 3-cone) to make an impression. Even more intriguing: somehow he went all of 2010 without catching a pass, getting on the field as a special-teamer and occasional pass rusher.
One Kelley fact of interest to Pats fans: in the off-season he works out with fellow upstate New Yorker Rob Gronkowski.
Other Black Bears getting consideration are outside linebacker Mark Masterson (6-2, 240), and receivers Tyrell Jones (6-2, 204) and Desmond Randall (5-11, 185, 36-inch vertical).
UMASS – Interesting that two candidates below transferred from Northeastern (or maybe not that interesting. Whatever). Offensive guard Greg Niland worked out at BC’s pro day. The 6-4, 300-pounder did well for himself, running a 5.07-second 40 and putting up 27 bench reps.
Running back John Griffin ran a 4.57 at the BC pro day, adding a 36-inch vertical and 6.82-second 3-cone drill for good measure. At 5-11, 205 pounds, Griffin averaged five yards per carry for the Minutemen.
Though his slow 40 will turn off some scouts, receiver Anthony Nelson (5-9, 185) deserves mention here. He not only led the team with 61 catches, he averaged over 25 yards per punt return and 27 yards per kick return.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Hugo Souza, SS: Souza (5-11, 212) made the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team. He had 82 tackles in 2010.
RHODE ISLAND – Outside linebacker Victor Adesanya (6-3, 227) made the All-CAA First Team, leading the Rams in sacks along with four QB hits and three forced fumbles. At his pro day, he ran a 4.62 40 and leapt a 36.5-inch vertical.
Sure, linebacker Matt Hansen may look small (5-11, 230), but so does dynamite. Hansen led URI with 114 tackles last season. If you want to watch Hansen put up 26 reps at his pro day, click here.
YALE – Chris Blohm, tight end: The 6-4, 260-pound Blohm showed his strength (30 bench reps) at his pro day and his hands (26 receptions) throughout the season.
Team captain Tom McCarthy fits the part of a college defensive end at 6-5, 265. His 4.72-second 40 and a 35-inch vertical jump put him in line with other outside linebacker candidates. In 2010 he led Yale with four sacks and three forced fumbles.
Any local college candidates you think deserve a mention here, dear readers, please comment below.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org