BOWLING GREEN - With almost half of the National Football League franchises represented at Bowling Green State University's pro day, Freddie Barnes understood that most, if not all, eyes were on him.
The NCAA's single-season receptions leader and a Biletnikoff Award finalist ran some passing routes and pulled in some passes from Tyler Sheehan in front of scouts during an hour-long workout at Doyt Perry Stadium.
"Talking to some of the scouts, they said I did pretty good, but I didn't think it was one of my best showings," Barnes said of his performance.
The 6-foot, 206-pound wide receiver reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.65, which didn't meet his expectations. Barnes, who has been critiqued by draft analysts for not possessing top-level speed, had hoped to run somewhere in the 4.5 range.
"Some guys clocked me around 4.6 to mid-4.6," he said. "Last week I was running better, so I'm real disappointed with that. It is what it is.
"Like I've said, I'm going to keep training and see what happens."
Barnes garnered national attention last fall after catching a NCAA record 155 passes for 1,770 yards, including 19 touchdowns. Such productivity certainly played a role in attracting scouts from 14 NFL teams, which included those from Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.
Lions scout Shawn Jefferson, who worked with Sheehan and the receivers during some passing drills, liked what he saw from Barnes.
"Freddie will definitely be playing on Sundays," Jefferson said. "The thing that sticks out about this kid when you watch film on him is he is fearless. He will go across that middle and he will sacrifice his body and will go up and catch it and come down with it and fight for yards. A guy doesn't catch 155 balls in a year just on pure luck, I don't care what level it's on. He has what we call natural hands. That means he can catch balls all out of the framework of his body, and that's the most important aspect of a receiver. A lot of people say it's speed, but it's not.
"If you have speed but can't catch, what good does speed do you? It doesn't do any good."
Sheehan, a 6-3, 223-pounder, also has hopes of catching the attention of NFL scouts with the NFL Draft set to take place April 22-24.
"I liked the quarterback," Jefferson said. "He's a smart guy. I'm going back to tell our quarterbacks coach about him and do some homework on him. I think he has a place in the league too."
Chris Bullock, Jimmy Scheidler, and Chris Wright were among those who took part in offensive drills. Roger Williams, Jerett Sanderson, Jahmal Brown, and P.J. Mahone took part in defensive drills. Punter/kicker Nick Iovinelli also participated in the workout.
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