BOISE — After enjoying breakout junior seasons, David Fluellen and Bernard Reedy might be ready to break into the NFL.
Though they both say it is not likely they will forgo their final season of eligibility, the University of Toledo offensive standouts have not made up their mind and will soon solicit information to shed light on their professional possibilities.
Toledo plans to submit paperwork on their behalf to the NFL draft advisory board sometime after the team returns home from Saturday’s game against Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The team will also request feedback on center Zac Kerin, though his declaring for the draft would register as a greater surprise than if Fluellen or Reedy were to do so.
The advisory board offers information to underclassmen about their draft stock, projecting what round they might be selected if they choose to enter the draft.
"I think our job is to provide these young men and their families the best opportunity to see what’s out there, to see what’s going on, and then make the best decision for them," coach Matt Campbell said.
Campbell added that he will, or already has, spoken with NFL scouts to gauge their level of interest in Toledo’s three juniors.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.
Fluellen, who needs 40 rushing yards Saturday to bump his season total to 1,500, would seem to have the highest odds to bolt to the pros among the three. His size — 6 feet, 215 pounds — is not a concern, and he is serviceable in the passing game, having posted 32 catches.
"Right now, leaning probably toward getting my degree," said Fluellen, a criminal justice major who would graduate in spring 2014.
Fluellen added he will chew over his decision with running backs coach Louis Ayeni, who played two seasons in the NFL.
Reedy, who posted his first 1,000-yard receiving season to go along with three special teams touchdowns, did not wish to speak about his NFL potential after Tuesday’s practice at Boise State, offering, "I’m just looking forward to this game and onto next year."
And will Toledo be the setting for next year?
"It’s more than likely," he said.
Reedy, Fluellen, and Kerin all were named first team All-Mid-American Conference. As a rule interior offensive linemen, even those from premier programs, do not declare early for the NFL. Campbell did not even mention Kerin’s name as an NFL prospect until several minutes after discussing Reedy’s and Fluellen’s chances.
All parties would be wise to view a former teammate as a cautionary tale. Eric Page left Toledo last year after his junior season and was not drafted. Page received a third- or fourth-round grade from the advisory board, which Campbell said means Page had a 50 percent chance of being taken.
"By the time we got the info back, it was so late that I don’t know if the NFL board had the opportunity to give him all the information he needed," Campbell said.
Comparisons have been drawn between Page and Reedy, mostly because of their sub 6-foot height and their penchant for producing dazzling plays in the return game. Their main difference, however, is speed. Page was timed at the NFL Combine at a relatively slow 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Reedy was clocked in the spring at 4.39, fastest on the team.
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