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UAB players partake in pro day event at Samford

The future outlook of UAB football may or may not change after the school shut down the program at the conclusion of the 2014 season, but Tuesday was one final opportunity for some UAB football players to come together one more time. A small handful of Blazers football players -- wide receiver J.J. Nelson, defensive end Diaheem Watkins, tight end Kennard Backman and kicker Ty Long -- took part in a pro day event in front of NFL scouts at Samford University, hoping to catch the eye of the NFL.

“One of things we talked about was competing everyday,” said former UAB coach Bill Clark, said to “I’ve had two or three different trainers come up to me and say, ‘Coach, your guys are some of the best I’ve been around’ and that’s what I want to hear.

Nelson was invited to participate in the recent NFL Scouting Combine. He recorded the fastest time in the 40-yard dash. He has to be on some team’s radar.

It is not uncommon for pro day events to include players from multiple schools. While programs like Alabama and Oregon and Ohio State and other power programs from power conferences typically hold their own pro day events, many smaller schools organize additional scouting opportunities for a collective group of players within a short drive’s radius. In addition to the UAB players on hand, players from Samford and Division 2 Miles College took part in the event.

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