The University of the Cumberlands (UC) has been one of the more prestigious universities in not only the Mid-South Conference (MSC) but also the NAIA for the last half decade. This can not only be attributed to great coaching, but also the athletes they put on the field. Apparently the NFL is also taking notice of the Patriots, as several football Pats tried out for NFL scouts on Friday February 8.
There were 2 scouts that worked for scouting agencies which represented 28 NFL franchises. Many of the upcoming seniors for UC ran for the scouts in a chance of a lifetime. Head Coach John Bland was exceptionally proud of his players saying, "We have had more and more guys throughout my time that are getting recognized for having great years, and that is great but these scouts are not just looking for that, they are looking for great athletes and that special player to play in the NFL."
The scouts seemed to be impressed as they almost guaranteed scouts will be returning to check out the Patriots this fall. One scout commented, "This is just the starting point to these guy's careers. This is just the beginning. To get here, they have to play well for Cumberlands and do what their coaches want them to do. It is exciting for these players to know they have the chance to get looked at by NFL scouts."
The players participated in the traditional 40 yard dash for the scouts. They did 2 types of 40 yard dashes; one going into the wind, and one with the wind. In what has been a critical test over the years for NFL prospects, the 40 yard dash is a 40 yard sprint that measures the true speed of a player. For many years, this event has been known to make or break a career for an NFL prospect. Many of the Patriots did quite well and a few impressed the scouts with better than average NFL speed. In what has been one of the more magical seasons for the Patriots, this seemed to be the perfect way to end the year.
Cumberlands is not satisfied with just having NFL prospects on campus scouting them; they want to win. Coach Bland feels confident about his chances especially with signing day just ending. He commented, "I have never pushed signing day that hard because we recruit well beyond signing day. However, we were able to sign a bunch of guys on Wednesday and players that we think can help us get to the ultimate goal of winning a National Championship."
Coach Bland reminds people that the Patriots are not done recruiting, giving tours Monday-Thursday and sometimes on weekends.
For more information on becoming a Patriot, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com. With a great recruiting class coming in, returning players, and also the players working out for the NFL, the Patriots look to continue to go above and beyond the success they had last season and reach the goal of playing in the NAIA National Championship game.