Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Slippery Rock Wr Has Late-Round Draft Hopes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Slippery Rock Wr Has Late-Round Draft Hopes

Article excerpt

Football players at Division II schools don't get to play on national television, and the vast majority don't get invited to the annual NFL scouting combine. There is usually just one opportunity for small-college players to get noticed by NFL teams.

Pro days at Division II schools are not heavily attended by NFL coaches or general managers, but scouts go in search of a late- round finds or free agents. Receiver Devin Goda made the most of his pro day at Slippery Rock in March with an impressive workout.

Goda, an Elizabeth Forward High School graduate, bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times, which is more than any receiver did at the NFL combine this year. He also ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash.

Those numbers drew interest from several teams, with the Cowboys, Bengals, Raiders, Patriots and Steelers showing the most. The draft begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, and Goda could be a late- round draft choice.

"I went into it with the mindset that my pro day would be make or break for me," Goda said. "I had the goal to stand out in every drill that I did. I only had one shot to impress the scouts."

Goda had to go the Division II route after low SAT scores and a slight frame scared away Division I schools. He was a 6-foot-1, 180- pound raw athlete as a high school senior, but is now 6-3, 225.

"I wasn't very strong in high school," he said. "But I was always a hard worker. I didn't mature physically until I was a freshman or sophomore in college. I'm from a small school, so I have a chip on my shoulder. I've always had the dream of playing in the NFL, and it would mean the world to me if I heard my name called."

There were 25 players from the WPIAL who were on NFL rosters last season. Here are some former WPIAL players who might get drafted or signed as free agents:

Shawn Anderson, Penn Hills -- Free safety at California University of Pennsylvania had a productive career for the Vulcans and possesses good speed. …

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