NCAT Pro Day
Brianna Williams, contributor
The arrival of spring signifies more than blooming flowers and the unofficial start of allergy season. For avid fans of football, especially college football fans, the arrival of spring means two things: Pro Days and spring games. Aggie fans were able to get their fix for one of those two events on March 21st as North Carolina A&T hosted Pro Day in Aggie Stadium.
On the second day of spring, eight eligible football players completed NFL Combine-like drills in front of several NFL Scouts at North Carolina A&T’s Pro Day. Scouts from teams like the Los Angeles Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles, and everywhere in between, including the home team of the Carolina Panthers, were present to watch Cohen and Company show off their skills.
The Aggies were well represented on both sides of the ball as five offensive players and three defensive players participated in this year’s Pro Day. Notably, four of the five offensive players came directly from the backfield. These offensive players included one quarterback, Oluwafemi “Femi” Bamiro, two halfbacks, Tarik Cohen and Demetrius Fairley, and one fullback, AJ McMinn. The fifth offensive player was Michael Weaver Jr., who is a wide receiver.
On the other side of the ball, Marquis Ragland and Angelo Keyes represented the defensive line. Both of these defensive linemen have earned multiple Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) honors, including one selection a piece to the first-team MEAC defense in 2016.
Meanwhile, Tyree Andrews, a defensive back, represented the Aggie secondary.
This was their time to shine directly in front of scouts, especially for the seven Aggies that did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine.
One Aggie that definitely stood out and caught the eye of scouts was Marquis Ragland. Ragland had 27 reps in the bench press, which, compared to NFL Combine participants, was six more than Jonathan Allen and three more than Malik McDowell, who are first round draft prospects from Alabama and Michigan State, respectively.
The last Aggie that was selected in the NFL Draft was Junius Coston, who went to the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. However, North Carolina A&T has been represented in two of the past three Super Bowls through Nate Isles of the Seattle Seahawks and Ayodeji Olatoye of the Atlanta Falcons, who both entered the NFL as undrafted free agents.
This year’s class of Pro Day participants certainly has the ability to go above and beyond the feats that these past Aggies have accomplished.