On Wednesday, Adrian Coxson and other former Stony Brook football players who graduated in the fall, as well as those who will do so in the spring, have the opportunity of a lifetime to prove themselves.
They only get one shot: Stony Brook’s Pro Day.
NFL teams will be sending representatives to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to look at what will likely be a handful of Seawolves who will complete a workout in their last opportunity to show professional scouts that they deserve a chance to continue their football career at the next level.
“When Pro Day comes around just remember at the end of the day it’s football,” former Stony Brook standout wide receiver Kevin Norrell said. “Don’t put any extra pressure on yourself, just go out there and have fun.”
Norrell was a Seawolf who took plenty of advantage of his Pro Day opportunity, running the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, according to Rotoworld, an NBC Sports affiliate. He would later be picked up by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent before eventually getting released.
However, the student-athletes will not just have to run. Other drills, such as the three-cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump and more, are all part of a typical Pro Day workout.
Wide receivers like Coxson will have to show their in-play talent as well.
“I know he’s going to run very fast, he has to show off his routes, catching, attention to detail and the scouts will take notice of that,” Norrell said. “If he gets drafted that’s amazing. If not, that’s ok too.”
As all of the Seawolves prepare for their workouts, each works with any available tools they can in order to perform at their highest level. There are no more chances to run faster, jump further, leap higher or anything of the sort.
This is it, and Coxson has someone in his corner who has been through it all.
Former Super Bowl Champion Qadry Ismail has worked with the Maryland native since the end of Stony Brook’s season.
“I think for Adrian he’s done an exceptional job of understanding how to be ready to perform for his Pro Day,” Ismail, who was known for his speed in the NFL, said. “What I’ve seen is he is every bit of a very good, fluid moving, very fast young man with the size.”
Everybody has a chance to get faster and stronger, though, and the duo has taken every moment they can to do just that.
“You’re trying to be like a fighter jet coming off an aircraft carrier,” Ismail, who ran track during his time at Syracuse University, said. “If you could be like a fighter jet coming off that aircraft carrier, well you’re going to have a very short runway.”
That is the essence of the 40-yard dash. Wide receivers in the NFL have a short amount of time to burst past the defensive back covering them, so scouts want to see just how fast they can be.
“You’re trying to violently, as much as you can, explode out and really just explode into the ground and push away through the ground and eventually you’re coming up and now you’re just floating in the air,” Ismail said. “There’s a whole lot that goes into something as simple as that, but that’s the trick of it all,” he added.
For Coxson, he knows that after his workout, only one thing will matter: what the scouts see on their stopwatch.
“My goal and my mindset is to beat the clock,” he said. “That’s basically what you’re doing, racing against the clock.”
For all the Seawolves who lace them up on Wednesday, that is exactly what they will need to do if they want more of a chance to achieve their dream in the NFL.