Numerous NFL scouts and quarterback coaches, as well as a few hundred onlookers, watched former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman perform Monday during the Mocs' pro day.
Coleman was unable to throw at the NFL combine in February because of a broken pinkie, but he was sharp on a warm, sunny morning at Finley Stadium. Throwing to former UTC and McCallie teammate Joel Bradford and former Red Bank and Tennessee Tech receiver Tim Benford, among others, Coleman completed his first 15 passes and finished 34-of-43, including two drops.
"I felt very polished, very solid," Coleman said. "It feels like a burden has been lifted off, and it feels good to have thrown. Now I'll look forward to the next step."
That next step should be some individual workouts for teams. Coleman's agent, Bus Cook, said nothing has been scheduled. The NFL draft is April 26-28.
Among the 18 scouts and coaches present were representatives from the Broncos, Titans, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Saints. The Steelers, Falcons, Bears, Seahawks, Dolphins and Vikings all had quarterback coaches present.
Coleman wasn't the only former Moc happy with his day. Chris Lewis-Harris, who split time between cornerback and safety during his career, also tested well. So did Bradford.
Lewis-Harris and Bradford both ran the 40-yard dash between 4.4 and 4.5 seconds. Unofficially, Bradford's time was 4.43 and the defender's was 4.47. Coleman's unofficial time was 4.87. Bradford had the highest vertical leap at 36 inches, one more than Lewis-Harris.
Lewis-Harris and former Baylor and Maryville College receiver Wesley Idlette had 18 repetitions (of 225 pounds) on the bench press, the most of the day.
"All you can ask for is a chance, and today I got a chance to show what I could do," said Lewis-Harris, a second-team All-Southern Conference player in 2011.
At least half of the current Mocs came out for the pro day, and they were joined by more than a dozen former players, as well as a small crowd of parents and UTC fans.
The number of scouts and coaches on hand was slightly larger than last year, when 2011 fifth-round draft pick Buster Skrine was performing. The Cleveland Browns cornerback was among the former players in attendance, and UTC coach Russ Huesman said all the attention Mocs are getting from the NFL can only help the program.
"I think it's huge exposure any time you get something like this," he said. "The number of scouts and coaches that were out here was tremendous."
Also working out Monday were former UTC running back Erroll Wynn, who finished his career in 2010, as well as former Western Michigan tight end Dallas Walker.
Coleman, Bradford, Benford and Walker spent several days practicing together leading up to Monday, working on their timing together. Coleman said they had a script of more than 40 throws that they went through.
"They looked great and did, I thought, a really good job," Coleman said. "I know they were getting tired because they did a lot of running and that sometimes showed on the deep balls, but overall it was a really successful day."
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.
Online: Video from UTC's pro day