Thursday, May 8, 2014

A weekend of life-changing moments

This weekend will be a life-changing moment for so many Bloomsburg University students as they officially earn their college degrees, some becoming the first in their family to do so.

It’s also traditionally one of my most cherished moments each year.

Adding to the excitement of this weekend will be the special life-changing opportunity four of their former classmates may enjoy as well.

Eight years ago we took pride in seeing Jahri Evans, a perennial All-Pro offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, become the fifth and earliest Huskies football player ever drafted in the National Football League. We may see that number grow to a total of nine by the end of this weekend.

The 2014 NFL Draft will take place on Thursday, May 8, through Saturday, May 10. Television coverage begins Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN and the NFL Network. You can also follow our own coverage online!

Larry Webster, Matt Feiler, Brian Clarke and Harlon Hill Trophy winner Franklyn Quiteh have garnered plenty of NFL attention since the season ended in November, including an on-campus pro day this spring attended by 17 NFL team representatives at Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium.

Webster, a defensive lineman, made national headlines in February for his impressive NFL Combine performance, coupled with his basketball resume. This combination, has made him an intriguing and popular “small school prospect” target among many draft analysts like ESPN’s Todd McShay.

Teammate Matt Feiler, an offensive lineman, joined Webster at the combine, giving Bloomsburg University two representatives among the nation’s best Division I football prospects, along the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive lineman and consensus No. 1 overall prospect, and Greg Robinson, the consensus No. 1 offensive line prospect.

Brian Clarke, an offensive lineman, and Quiteh, a running back, also drew some national spotlight after the season by playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Feiler and Webster were invited to the East-West Shrine Game. Their efforts and hard work this winter and spring haven’t gone unnoticed. Just search each of their names on Twitter.

The wide-spread media attention brought on to these Huskies through television, newspapers, magazines and social networks is a great testament to them, their teammates and to the tremendous quality of our football program and coaching staff. In their own way, they have put Bloomsburg University on the map for a much greater audience.

Whether our four players hear their names called this weekend or are left to wait until next week for a free agent invite to a NFL summer training camp, they each have accomplished something special. As a true definition of student-athletes, these men have excelled on the playing field and three have already earned college degrees. That’s a life-changer in itself.


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