South Carolina State offensive line coach Na’Shan Goddard watched as a number of current Bulldogs went through Pro Day at the University of South Carolina Monday.
Goddard, a former USC offensive linemen, chuckled when thinking back on his Pro Day with the Gamecocks.
“I remember being very nervous,” Goddard said. “But, after those first few workouts, I started to get more relaxed, and felt better. The key thing was having the encouragement of my teammates, that really put me at ease.”
Eight SC State players took part in the Combine process with hopes of hearing their names called in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Receiver Shaq Davis has been mentioned as a late round pick in a number of mock drafts. Davis had 45 catches for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead SC State last season. Just recently, an insider with the Pittsburgh Steelers had him as a seventh round pick. Davis took part in the event Monday with hopes of solidfying his chances to be picked.
“I didn’t get my official times, but I feel I did pretty well,” Davis said after finishing his workout. “I’ve spent the last three months at House of Athletes in Tampa working out, doing field work and getting in the weight room.”
Davis took part in the East-West Shrine game back in February, he was able to showcase his talent against some of the best collegiate players in the country.
“(East-West) was a great experience,” Davis said. “Coming from an HBCU level, there are still some players that think we can’t play at a high level, but going out and having good practices made me feel like I belong.”
Davis said he gradually got better with every practice, and took the feedback from the scouts in attendance to his training in Tampa.
“I used what (scouts) told me to better work on my mechanics and get better,” Davis said.
Goddard said listening to the scouts is one of the keys to making someone remember you.
“These are the guys teaching the drills, listen to what they say,” Goddard said to his group. “Look for feedback, lots of these guys are here looking for you to ask questions. Interact with them, they didn’t fly all the way to Seattle for nothing.”
Goddard estimated about 20 NFL teams in attendance Monday. While the scouts were on the field, many of the current Bulldog football team was on the sideline watching their teammates.
“It means everything to bring these underclassmen here,” Goddard said. “They get the opportunity to see what the process is like, and get a glimpse at what they can look forward to in the future. When they see those teams in attendance it makes them want to go home and work that much harder.”
Goddard was selected in the 2006 NFL Draft, but did sign a free agent contract with the New York Giants. He spent four seasons in the NFL and was twice a Super Bowl champion.
SC State defensive lineman Darrell Brown is not listed on many draft boards, but he participated Monday with hopes of turning some heads.
“It’s nice that we’re able to showcase what we’re capable of doing athletically,” Brown said. “It’s been a good experience, being in front of the scouts. The goal is to get recognized by someone, and have them give me a call. It only takes one.”
For Davis, he said he hopes he can see his name pop up on the screen during those three days of the NFL Draft.
“It would mean everything (to be drafted),” Davis said. “But, even if I don’t there are still opportunities out there to sign (as a free agent) with a team. All I need is that opportunity.”
Joining Davis and Brown Monday were Chris Simon (OL), Chris Smmons (LB), Shaheem Haltiwanger (DL), Tyrece Nick (ATH), Jalen Barr (DB), Duane Nichols (DB) and Kendall Moultrie (DB).
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 27-29.