7 Owls showcase talents to pro football scouts

7 Owls showcase talents to pro football scouts

At least 25 NFL and CFL scouts observed former Kennesaw State football players at the Pro Day hosted by KSU on Tuesday, March 12.

The KSU competitors included running backs Darnell Holland and Randy Jones, wide receivers Justin Sumpter and Xavier Harper, linebacker Anthony Gore Jr., offensive lineman Joe Alexander and Myles Hughes.

“I wasn’t going to stress too much about the things that I can’t control,” Holland said. “Everything else, I thought, would work in my favor, so I didn’t worry about the rest. Just trying to set myself [up] for a successful future.”

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Justin Sumpter ran his 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds. Photo credit: Ryan Borgerding

Before working out, Holland made a first impression with his appearance, wearing shiny gold cleats.

In those shoes, Holland clocked in a 4.38 40-yard dash, the fastest at the Pro Day and faster than any other running back at the NFL Combine earlier this month.

“If you chase what you truly want to do in life, the rest will come,” Holland said. “For me, I never worry about the money, only about what I love doing, and I have trust and faith in God that He will answer the rest of my prayers.”

Various players from schools across the southeast competed at Pro Day. From KSU, all contributors were selected for individual workouts later in the day, but it was Sumpter and Holland who gained the most attention.

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Joe Alexander lines up for a 40-yard dash. Photo credit: Ryan Borgerding

For his career, Sumpter caught 111 passes for 1889 yards and 21 touchdowns, often coming through for the team at important moments. His physical features also stand out, weighing in at 220 pounds and standing at 6 feet, 3 inches.

The concerns for Sumpter revolved around his speed and ability to run the entire route tree.

During workouts, Sumpter had no drops and his vertical jump measured 39.5 inches. Towards the end, Sumpter tweaked his right hamstring but showed his character by finishing the workout.

“I feel like I did what I needed to do,” Sumpter said. “I put up some pretty impressive numbers, so I feel like I put myself in a good position.”

Towards the end of the workouts, Sumpter planned to talk with the Chicago Bears and gained attention from the New Orleans Saints.

“I was showing that I had great hands, I didn’t have a single drop,” Sumpter said, “I put up the numbers they were expecting me to.”

Holland was seen conversing with several scouts as well, including the 49ers and Giants.

“A lot of the scouts asked about my character,” Holland said. “For that, I didn’t have to lie. I’ve never gotten into any trouble with the law or my coaches.”

KSU is a new football program, whose inaugural signing class just played their last game. Sumpter and Holland are looking to be the first of the Owls to enter the NFL Draft.

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