Senior JJ Dielman (68) listens to the O Line coach at Rice Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City, Utah. Adam Fondren, Daily Utah Chronicle

Starting from a young age, kids are signed up for sports and plenty of them grow up competing in that sport throughout their childhood. Some move on to be the star of their high school team, and even fewer play for the college of their dreams. The love for the sport they started playing at at a young age can grow into a passion, watching their favorite professional players on television or by watching them as a fan in a crowd of thousands. Kids’ eyes begin to sparkle as they imagine wearing their name on a jersey and leading their team to victories in the NFL. It is a dream some kids hope to make a reality — one where they’re drafted into the NFL.

The University of Utah’s football team showed some of their most promising athletes to NFL scouts on Thursday at its annual Pro Day, and one from nearly every team was in attendance. This is the day many Utes have been waiting and preparing for so they can show scouts that they are more than ready to be a part of the NFL.

Pro Day began with simple weight and height measurements. Then the athletes were tested on their agility with distance jumps and lifting. Finally, the players would participate in running and position drills.

A few of the potential NFL stars who participated in the Pro Day events were offensive tackle Garett Bolles, safety Marcus Williams, cornerback Brian Allen and offensive guard Isaac Asiata.

Bolles was unable to do any bench work because he didn’t want to further injure the pectoral muscle that he strained earlier this year, instead he only participated in position drills at the Spence Eccles Field House.

“I was just out here today continuing to grind with my brothers,” Bolles said. “This is my last time I get to be here in this university and [to] be a Ute with my brothers and it is just a great day.”

Williams, like Bolles, only participated in position drills on Thursday where he was able to show scouts what he has to offer. Not only is Williams focusing on himself during this process, but he is also focusing on how well his teammates are doing, which makes him extremely proud.

“I’m happy that all of these guys get the opportunity to show off [in front] all these NFL teams because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and not very many people to get have this opportunity,” Williams said. “Everybody did their thing today and the rest of the guys are going to finish off strong.”

For Asiata, the process of potentially getting drafted has taught him more about who he is as a player and how he plans on staying motivated.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned through this process is to just trust myself,” Asiata said. “I feel like most guys tense up and second guess themselves. I trust and have confidence in myself to go out and do the things I do, because I’ve been doing this for awhile.”

On Asiata’s mind, like the rest of his teammates who participated in Pro Day, is the upcoming NFL Draft. Right now, he says he has been hearing that he could possibly be a second, third or fourth round pick for the draft.

“I want to get drafted and I want to hear my name,” Asiata said. “The most important thing to me is staying. Not making it, but staying in the league and being there for a long time and getting that second contract.”

Allen came out today with no worries on his mind. Instead, Pro Day was just another average day of practice — something not out of the ordinary.

“All the drills today were just fluent for me because they are things that I’ve been doing,” Allen said. “It’s like ordinary spring practice for me. Today felt good, and now I’m just ready to see how my future plays out.”

The former Utes will continue to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft with the help of their agents as they continue to talk to more teams. The Utes are certainly on the minds of plenty of NFL recruiters, but for many of the athletes, they have had this dream on their mind for as long as they can remember.



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