Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Collegian: Korte and Waldie test in pro days as NFL hopefuls

Korte and Waldie test in pro days as NFL hopefuls
By: Casey Cheney
Posted: 3/12/09 in the Hillsdale Collegian

Tomorrow, seniors wide receiver Aaron Waldie and linebacker Tom Korte of the Hillsdale Chargers will participate in the University of Michigan's pro day - their second pro day this week.

In the past, the University of Michigan pro day has been specific to U of M players, but in his first year as the Wolverine's head coach, Rich Rodriquez opened the event to outside players as well.

Korte said he talked with a friend on the Wolverine's football team who in turn talked to the coach about allowing Korte and Waldie to participate.

"He was more than willing to help us out," Korte said.

They speculate they would be the only two non-Wolverine players participating.

"We're hoping a different crowd of scouts will be there," Korte said, adding that performing for a diverse group improves their chances.

They competed at Grand Valley State University Monday with other NCAA Division II athletes. Pro days generally consist of seven general tests (e.g. bench, vertical jump and shuttle) and one position-specific exercise.

At this pro day, Waldie and Korte estimated about 20 scouts came out to watch, a surprising turnout for a Division II pro day.

"That's two-thirds of the league coming to see a D-2 pro day," Waldie said.

"I saw everyone with their shirts, and I was like, 'Holy crap.'"

At one point, the scouts separated six of the players of particular interest to perform a 60 yard long shuttle. Both Waldie and Korte were among the six.

"Waldie and I were a big interest," Korte said.

Both said they were anxious to get their numbers on the board and see where it got them.

"Once you got moving, it was actually a lot of fun," Korte said.

For the four hours they were testing, Korte and Waldie said a team mentality developed amongst the participants.

"We're all competing against each other, but we were all going after the same goal," Korte said.

Waldie added that nerves faded once he realized they were all in the same boat.

Afterward, they said they talked with several of the scouts (including those of Jacksonville and New York), though little about their performance was revealed.

"They kind of came in, got their numbers and left," Korte said. "They keep their notes close to their chests. They don't give you any leads."

While both felt they performed well, they anticipate improvement at tomorrow's event, now that they have a better idea of what to expect.

"We helped ourselves out," Korte said. "I think on Friday we'll be more relaxed."

In the months preceding this week, Waldie and Korte trained with the track team (Waldie as a member of the team and Korte in practices). They said the track workouts peaked right in time for the pro days. Track coach Jeff Forino also set them up with a lifting program.

They said their workouts have mostly tapered off over the last two weeks. The past week has consisted mostly of stretching, ice baths and plenty of food and sleep.

"There's definitely a science to it," said Korte, who is used to the continuous workout schedule done for football.

"We had so much more energy, we wanted to keep working out," Waldie added.

With one pro day down and plenty of training under their belts, Waldie and Korte said they're ready for tomorrow's events but are staying humble.

"I'm still kind of awestruck," Waldie said. "I don't feel like we're better than anyone else."

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