KU NFL hopefuls to show off skills

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

With the start of spring practice less than two weeks away, the Kansas University football program will put the finishing touches on last year’s group today at the Anderson Family Football Complex and Memorial Stadium.

Beginning at 9:30 this morning, nine seniors from last year’s 2-10 team will run through KU’s annual pro timing day, an event that allows them to showcase their skills for a handful of NFL scouts that make the trip to Lawrence.

Although the Jayhawks struggled on the field last season, the team was not without its pro prospects. Linebacker Steven Johnson participated in the invitation-only NFL Combine in February, and at least three others on the roster have drawn the attention of various scouts.

Center Jeremiah Hatch and tight end Tim Biere appear to have a decent shot of catching on with an NFL team. A solid performance today could help cement their spot in an NFL training camp later this year.

In addition to those two, offensive lineman Jeff Spikes and cornerback Isiah Barfield also figure to get a long look.

At this point, it seems unlikely that any of the former Jayhawks would get selected during April’s draft, with Johnson having the best odds of any of them.

Other Jayhawks expected to participate in pro day include: cornerback Anthony Davis; defensive lineman Richard Johnson Jr.; lineman Michael Martinovich; and tight end A.J. Steward. In years past, a handful of former KU players from previous classes also made their way back to campus to participate in pro day.

KU officials said recently that new head coach Charlie Weis had requested for today’s session to be closed to everyone outside of the KU football program, including the media and friends and family members of the players.

KU’s next official football function is slated for March 27, the opening day of spring practices. Weis and company also are in the middle of walk-on tryouts, which began Monday and are scheduled to run through Thursday.