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Funderburk, Parker Jr. shine in App State’s Pro Day

Redshirt+senior+linebacker+Andrew+Parker+Jr.+celebrates+after+getting+a+stop+against+Marshall+Nov.+4.
Max Sanborn
Redshirt senior linebacker Andrew Parker Jr. celebrates after getting a stop against Marshall Nov. 4.

In preparation for the 2024 NFL Draft, seven Mountaineers participated in App State’s Pro Day Monday in front of several scouts. 

Cornerback Tyrek Funderburk, tight end/long snapper Isaiah Helms, defensive back EJ Jackson, inside linebacker Andrew Parker Jr., cornerback Jarrett Paul, safety Nick Ross and offensive lineman Bucky Williams performed running and skill activities in the Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility.

Funderburk ran the fastest 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.39 seconds, which would have ranked eighth among cornerbacks at this year’s NFL Combine. The Mountaineers’ 2023 interception leader posted 14 bench press reps, a 34.5-inch vertical, a 10-3 broad jump and a seven-second 3-cone drill.

Parker Jr. dominated Pro Day by recording 20 bench press reps, a 10-4 broad jump, a 4.26-second 20-yard shuttle and a 38.5-inch vertical. The Black and Gold’s 2023 leading tackler ran a 6.98-second 3-cone drill, which would have ranked first among linebackers at this year’s NFL Combine.

“I’ve always dreamed about being an NFL player, and to see the hard work unfold before my eyes is very heartfelt,” Parker Jr. said.

In preparation for Pro Day, Funderburk and Parker Jr. trained together in Florida throughout the winter. 

“It was good to be able to support each other throughout this process,” Funderburk said.

The three other secondary players impressed in front of scouts, teammates and family members as Ross posted 23 bench press reps, which would’ve ranked first among safeties at this year’s NFL Combine. 

“I’m just glad I got to put all the hard work into my opportunity,” Ross said.

Jackson ran a 6.90-second 3-cone drill, while Paul ran a 7.01.

The offensive lineman pairing of Helms and Williams worked together on positional drills as they displayed their strength and agility. 

“We’re encouraging each other and pushing each other,” Williams said. “Just to have a familiar face and really one of your good friends with you, it’s awesome because you’re not doing it alone.”

Williams worked throughout the winter to gain around 10-15 pounds and gained 12 pounds the “healthy way” as he felt and looked better than he did three months ago. 

As a Mountaineer, Helms played right guard and center, but is looking to increase versatility and transition into a combination of center/tight end/long snapper at the next level.

While Monday marked the end of these players’ App State careers, they will look to continue at the professional level, starting with the NFL Draft on April 25.

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About the Contributors
Chance Chamberlain
Chance Chamberlain, Associate Sports Editor
Chance Chamberlain (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
Max Sanborn
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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