Former MSU football players showcase their talent one last time for Pro Day
As MSU football held its Pro Day on Wednesday, and limited media availability led to minuscule information surfacing from the event as the drills portion was closed to the media. Fans and reporters had to refer to tweets and interviews with selected players.
“I think it went great today,” former MSU linebacker Riley Bullough said. “It was good to be back, be with the guys and be able to showcase some of the stuff I’ve been working on. Not being able to run at the combine, it was nice to do it here and put this phase behind me and start thinking about football again.”
Bullough graduated from MSU in December and concluded his collegiate career with 214 tackles. He said Wednesday that he was pleased with his showing in the drills.
“Teams — when they look at me — they see a guy with a high motor, a guy that loves football and that means a lot to me because that’s what I pride myself on,” Bullough said. “So I think they can see those things and that’s important.”
Former MSU quarterback Tyler O’Connor said he completed 62 of 64 passes on Wednesday. Along with his performance throwing the pigskin, O'Connor added he was surprised by his performance in the jumping events.
“I’m pretty happy about it,” O’Connor said. “I think end the end, threw 64 balls was 62 of 64. The two (missed) throws, maybe move them six inches, but for the most part (it was) very good.”
Former tight end Josiah Price said it was a relief to be able to put Pro Day in the rearview mirror. The 6-foot-4 Indiana native, who is MSU’s all-time leader among tight ends for most touchdown catches with 21, said he received positive feedback during the event.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things,” Price said. “They said I’m a complete player, a complete tight end, can catch the ball really well and get open, and then also I’m a very good blocker. So those are a lot of the positive things I’ve been hearing back and that I can be a three-down tight end.”
Price finished his career in East Lansing with 1,238 yards on 104 catches in 51 career games, including 25 starts. His 21 career touchdown catches ranks Price No. 4 among all players in school history.
“I really feel confident in my skills and my skill set at tight end in the NFL because I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do,” Price said. “Here at Michigan State really prepared me for all the movements I could do. I could move the backfield, I can move in the slot, I can be in line, I can be in a wing and I could do pretty much any blocking schemes — zone, power, pass protection. And we ran a pretty similar NFL offense here, so it’s just going to be getting terminology. But really excited about the opportunity and my future.”
Four-year letterwinner R.J. Shelton said he was satisfied with his performance Wednesday. The wide receiver added that he has talked to several NFL teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.
“I feel like I did a really good job just impressing the coaches and scouts to show them I’m a top player in this draft amongst wide receivers and just being a consistent player like I always am,” Shelton said.
Alongside playing wide receiver as a Spartan, Shelton fielded punts and kickoffs. He finished his career ranked No. 2 among MSU’s all-time leaders in kick return yards with 1,855 and kick returns with 80.
Shelton said the ability to be a multi-dimensional player is key to impressing NFL teams.
“It’s huge,” Shelton said. “Doing the things I did here at Michigan State is something that — I’m like a utility guy. I can do whatever — backfield, punts, kick returns, play wide receiver inside or out — whatever the team needs me to do for us to be successful is what I’m willing to do that.”
Fullback Prescott Line, who transferred to MSU from Southern Methodist University for his senior season, registered 39 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press event.
Although Line did not receive an invite to the NFL combine, his 39 repetitions would have ranked him No. 1 among all combine participants breaking the combine-high 35 reps set by linemen Carl Lawson and Isaac Asiata.
“(The bench press) is my one moment to shine, but the rest — the (40-yard dash) and stuff like that — is kind of where you get put under pressure,” Line said. “But definitely the bench was my time to go.”
Other former Spartans who took part in Pro Day drills were safety Demetrious Cox, linebacker Ed Davis, cornerback Darian Hicks, tight end Jamal Lyles, wide receiver Monty Madaris, running backs Nick Tompkins and Delton Williams and linemen Malik McDowell, Brandon Clemons, Miguel Machado, Kodi Kieler, Benny McGowan, Gabe Sherrod and Kevin Williams.
After showing a strong performance at the combine earlier this month, safety Montae Nicholson was scheduled to take part in drills, but didn’t as he was rehabilitating a torn labrum injury he sustained during the regular season.