NFL comes to Boone to scout the future Mountaineer professionals

Garrett Wold, Sports Reporter

Appalachian State University hosted its annual pro day on Tuesday, March 27, giving 11 seniors from the back-to-back Sun Belt Championship team a chance to showcase their abilities in front of pro scouts.

App State is no stranger to NFL scouts or the recruiting process. There are nine former Appalachian State football players currently on active NFL rosters, including Daniel Kilgore, Kennan Gilchrist, and Doug Middleton. Two former Mountaineers are currently active in the Canadian Football League, including Ed Gainey and star Mountaineer QB Armanti Edwards.

Two NFL assistant coaches were also in attendance Tuesday. New York Giants assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson and Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach Ray Brown were both present to observe the seniors.

With 14 of the 32 NFL franchises being represented by scouts, including two teams from the CFL; the Mountaineers had ample opportunity to showcase their talents and add to their already impressive resumes.

Eric Boggs, A.J. Howard, Beau Nunn and several other players all participated in full and posted some impressive stats. Colby Gossett, who had a strong performance of his own at the NFL Scouting Combine, only participated in position and skill work.

“I’ve been coming to watch pro day since I was a freshman on the team,” Boggs said. “I had an idea of what to expect. I have a big family and a huge fan base supporting me so it made the whole process a little easier.”

Gossett, who is praised for his NFL-ready frame and impressive strength, is currently projected to go as high as the fourth round in this year’s NFL Draft. During his NFL Scouting Combine performance, he posted 32 reps with 225 pounds in the bench press and ran a 5.20 40-yard dash, which were good for top five and top ten at his position.

Fellow offensive lineman and four-year starter Nunn had quite the day of his own, showing off his impressive speed at the right tackle position. Nunn ran a jaw dropping 5.01 40-yard dash and posted 28 bench press reps.

“I wanted to show them everything today,” Nunn said. “I wanted them to see how athletic I am, how quick I can move, and what kind of player they can expect with me.”

Howard set the tempo for the day, recording the fastest times in three different drills, including the 40-yard dash (4.50), 3-cone shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle. Howard’s speed, paired with his impressive 24 reps under the bench, made him one of the standout athletes of the day.

Linebacker Devan Stringer improved his draft stock after posting some huge numbers. His 23 bench reps would have made him tied for fifth amongst all linebackers in the NFL Scouting Combine, and his 38-inch vertical would have ranked him sixth.

“I’ve been undersized my whole life, it’s not really a big deal to me,” Stringer said. “If anything, it adds to my game. I play with a chip on my shoulder, and I think that’s something that can help me at the next level.”

Wide receiver T.J. Watkins had the longest broad jump of the day at 10-4, followed closely by offensive linebacker Rashaad Townes who posted a 10-3. Townes also had 26 reps under the bench and a 35.5 inch vertical.

Several of the App State seniors have met with team scouts one-on-one and are currently purusing the next level in their careers. They will continue to meet with teams and participate in workouts until the NFL Draft, which is scheduled to begin on April 26 and will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.


Story By: Garrett Wold, Sports Reporter