Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Mixed results for state products at UConn pro day

The three in-state products couldn't have had more diverse experiences during today's pro day at UConn.

Coming in I felt like Wethersfield's Kenton Adeyemi could blaze a path into an NFL training camp much like fellow former UConn defensive lineman B.J. McBryde did a year ago.

Adeyemi certainly seemed to be enough to remain on the radar of the NFL teams. He was especially pleased with his 31-inch vertical jump. He also had a solid time of 4.9 in the 40-yard dash and his 29 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press was second only to Julian Campenni's 31.

"I came in feeling like I have to get 30 (in the vertical) and I surprised myself," Adeyemi said.."B.J. and I always competed when he was here and he is one of my very good friends so him coming in and doing what he did, I knew we are similar in athleticism. They liked what he did so much so I thought I could come out here and blow up as well."

It's been a productive couple of months for Adeyemi. He draw some rave reviews for his play in the Tropic Bowl in January and then got to work out alongside top NFL draft prospects at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

"I went down to the Tropic Bowl and said 'I am this kid from UConn and I can play,'" Adeyemi said. "I think I did well for myself down there. It is a real nice place, a lot of alumni came through there. I really appreciate everything they did for me so I tried to come out here and make them proud."

Adeyemi would have loved to join some of his workout partners at the NFL scouting combine but not being invited has only made him work even harder.

"Pretty much you go into it with a chip on your shoulder," Adeyemi said. "I didn't get a combine invite, I wasn't regarded in that world so come out here and show them that they should have invited me and I can play too."

So what's next for Adeyemi?

"Get yourself into a camp. Once you get yourself into a camp, that is all you need, take advantage of that opportunity because it may never come again."

Durham's Graham Stewart was set to make the necessary steps to impress the scouts from the 18 NFL teams in attendance. He was off to a good start with a 35-inch vertical, 19 reps in the bench press but as he was clocking a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash, he tweaked something in his left hamstring. With the short and long shuttles, 3-cone drill and positional work yet to come, Stewart's job interview was abruptly cut short.

"It is tough to really grasp how I feel about it right now," Stewart said. "I am devastated but at the same time I am cheering on these other guys.

"This is kind of your last chance to show what you've got, do your thing. I am sure it means a lot to these other guys, they are doing awesome.

Berlin's Max DeLorenzo was one of the last players on the playing surface inside the UConn practice facility. He made a beautiful catch of a pass of about 40 yards and had strong showings in the agility drills. His times in the 3-cone drill (6.96), 20-yard shuttle (4.23) and 60-yard shuttle (11.65) would have placed him third, sixth and eighth among running backs at the NFL combine.

"I've been training two months for this so once I we got out here, it was a lot different and we were doing what we love to do," DeLorenzo said. "It was great. We all kind of split up for two months and now we came back together trying to get a job. It is will be interesting to see where everybody lands but no matter what, we are still family."

DeLorenzo's day ended with a discussion with a pro scout. However, it wasn't one of them from the NFL but from the Kansas City Royals who use football pro days to try to find prospects.

DeLorenzo admitted that he gave up playing baseball before he enrolled at Berlin High School.


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