- The UMass football team will be holding its annual Pro Day on Monday, March 12. The event will take place at McGuirk Stadium. Many NFL scouts as well as representatives from UFL and CFL teams will be on hand to check out UMass' top senior talent. Over the past two seasons, UMass has produced several NFL players including Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, James Ihedigbo of the New England Patriots, Vladimir Ducasse of the New York Jets, and Jeremy Horne of the Kansas City Chiefs. Headlining this season's crop of senior players is Emil Igwenagu who is projected to be a fourth-to-fifth round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Tyler Holmes and Julian Talley are also a pair of top-shelf players who will be working out on Monday. - UMass football
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Igwenagu signed with UMASS as a highly touted prep athlete after leading his high school to two consecutive Division Two Super Bowl wins, earning MVP each time. Once with the Minutemen, coaches struggled to find a role that would best take advantage of Igwenagu's athleticism and explosiveness while acknowledging his less than ideal size. As such he redshirted as a freshman, winning the Outstanding Offensive Scout Team award due to his role at running back. He also played linebacker for the scout team. A year later he made the switch to fullback. As a redshirt sophomore he was moved to H-Back, where he caught 23 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. Injuries limited him to only 12 catches as a junior but Igwenagu finished his career strong, grabbing 38 passes for 375 yards and three scores in 2011. Igwenagu lacks the bulk to remain at tight end (or perhaps even H-back) in the NFL, but could move back to fullback, as he has all of the traits scouts are looking for at the position. Igwenagu is a well built athlete capable of handling the jump in competition. He also plays the game with a physical and competitive mindset. With few teams looking for traditional fullbacks in this new era of passing prominence, Igwenagu has the receiving skills to do damage on the perimeter when not blasting holes in the running game.
Positives: Legitimate NFL caliber athlete. Good initial quickness, lateral agility to elude. At least moderate straight-line speed. Physical player. Plays with some explosiveness about him and doesn't back down from a physical challenge. Shows natural hands for the reception. Good body control to adjust to the poorly thrown ball. Can extend and pluck. Good leaper. Good hand-eye coordination and timing on his leap to win in jump-ball situations. Good vision, strength and balance for running after the reception. Voted a team captain in 2011.
Negatives: Only played one season as a true fullback in college and that came in 2008. Obvious concern about his level of competition. Is a good all-around athlete for this level but does not possess the straight-line speed to run away from NFL competition.