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Published: Monday, 4/18/2005

NFL scouts find an almost perfect Body playing for the Rockets

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

There were 18 NFL teams represented at the University of Toledo's pro workout day on March 29. A few of those scouts may have been familiar with Patrick Body when they arrived, but all of them knew about the UT safety by the time they left.

Body was clocked in the 40-yard dash in a fleet 4.31 seconds, just minutes after producing a 42.9-inch vertical jump.

Anything in excess of 40 inches will get the scouts' attention. A 42.9-inch jump was jaw-dropping.

Suddenly, Body was getting attention equal to that given Rocket offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, who has been considered the top NFL prospect from UT since his fine showing at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in late February.

Body wasn't invited to the Combine, presumably because he suffered a broken right arm in the Motor City Bowl last Dec. 27.

"That bothered me because I know I'm one of the fastest guys in the country, so I thought I'd be invited," Body said. "It just meant I had to compete harder on our pro days. There was a lot of pressure on me, but I think everything went pretty well."

That's putting it mildly.

In addition to exhibiting his speed and jumping ability, Body showed his arm was healed by producing 14 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds.

"I was expecting to do six or seven, so I really surprised myself," he said.

During field drills, Body worked out at both safety and cornerback, where scouts evaluated his coverage skills. To illustrate the kind of impression he made, the Pittsburgh Steelers' scout asked that he work out as a wide receiver, too.

"I came to Toledo as a wide receiver, but then [the coaches] saw how I could hit," said Body, who has had personal workouts for the Bengals, Jets and Packers. "It can't hurt that the Steelers wanted to see me there, but most teams are looking at me as a corner or safety. I'll play wherever I can get a shot. I have no preference."

At his current weight, 196 pounds, the 6-1 Body would figure to be best suited at cornerback. But he feels he's capable of carrying the additional 12 to 15 pounds that would make him a prototype NFL safety.

Body's agents are the husband-wife team of Scott and Shawn Smith from X-A-M Sports in Madison, Wis.

Thanks to Shawn's efforts, Body has been featured on ESPN Radio, Fox-TV Sports, the Football Network and in question-answer sessions on a number of pro draft Internet sites.

"Typically, agents don't do what we do PR-wise," said Shawn, whose background is in public relations. "But we felt it was imperative that we get Pat's story out. The first-day guys in the draft get press because it comes to them. But Pat is from a smaller school and didn't get invited to the Combine."

Scott Smith said that Body's absence from the Combine "made it sort of an uphill battle. But guys overcome that every year. I think Patrick will, too. There's a lot of interest from teams. We certainly expect him to get drafted. It's just a matter of when."



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