With the NFL Draft just over a month away, the Bulls hosted their annual Pro Day Thursday morning inside the Murchie Family Fieldhouse.
Six UB athletes participated in the Pro Day events, as well as eight players from Buffalo State and Brockport. Scouts from the NFL and CFL — two of North America’s three most well-known football leagues — were in attendance, as well as much of the UB football roster.
“The exposure that this [event] provides for the UB athletes and what they’ve done and the work they’ve put in, it’s an outstanding day,” head coach Maurice Linguist said.
“If you look at the NFL right now, there are 12 former Buffalo Bulls currently on active rosters… You come here, you come to Buffalo, you follow the process and trust the process, you put in the work and you make the plays, an NFL opportunity is very much reachable and attainable.”
Here’s a rundown of the Bulls that participated:
Ja’Marcus Ingram, cornerback
Cornerback Ja’Marcus Ingram had an impressive showing at his Pro Day. Ingram ran an unofficial 4.52 40-yard dash and a 5.02 shuttle run. He displayed pure athleticism during drills and showed off his ability to track the pigskin in the secondary.
The 6-foot-2, 190 lb. Dallas native mustered 46 tackles — 34 solo and 12 assisted — last season, on top of three pass deflections. From his quick feet to solid hands, Ingram has many of the traits scouts are looking for from a cornerback.
Kadofi Wright, linebacker
Standing at 6-foot-3, linebacker Kadofi Wright had a top-five 40-yard dash time from the Combine — 4.52 seconds — and a top-10 broad jump for linebackers as he leaped an impressive 10’3” — which was met with immediate cheers from his teammates.
Wright ran a 5.4 in the short shuttle but it appeared as though he slowed down and didn’t run through the course. The Richmond, VA native slipped a few times during drills, but was able to get up and finish strong. He looked fast and aggressive, hitting the pads with force and maintaining balance.
“The ability to cover tight ends or slot receivers or running backs who run 4.4,” he said when asked what he could bring to a professional team in a press conference. “That’s scarce in the NFL because everybody’s 245 lb. or 250 lb. and I’m 230 lb. so I’m able to run with the faster guys.
Wright showed quick feet on his coverage assignments this season. He had 49 tackles — 29 solo and 20 assisted — on top of 2.5 sacks and one interception his senior campaign.
Kevin Marks Jr., running back
A 6-foot, 203 lb. running back, Kevin Marks Jr. showed up in a pink and blue spandex and quickly became the star of the show Thursday. Despite recovering from a lower-leg injury that abruptly ended his 2021 season, Marks ran an unofficial 4.51 40-yard dash and was phenomenal in position drills, proving he has made a healthy recovery.
In nine games last season, he rushed for 414 yards and scored five touchdowns. Marks also had the opportunity to play in the Hula Bowl in Orlando back in December, which meant he was well-acquainted with professional scouts.
The Norfolk, VA native displayed good ball handling, nice agility and impressive speed. Marks excelled in long and short passes and handoffs. He was one of the few participants who didn’t slip on the turf while making cuts and showcased his ability to run deep and play like a receiver.
“Showcasing my hand tracking to the ball, seeing the ball and getting in and out of my breaks,” Marks said when asked what he wanted to show scouts Thursday. “I’m showing my speed, showing that I’m versatile, too. I’m an every-down back.”
Marks has trained with former NFL quarterback Michael Vick during the offseason and says the former Falcons and Eagles play-caller has become a mentor to him.
“The best advice he’s given me is to just stay focused and keep grinding, keep working,” the senior said. “Everything else will take care of itself, you don’t have to worry about nothing. Just keep working and get better every day.”
Josh Rogers, defensive tackle
Senior Josh Rogers displayed his strength and his ability to out-muscle opponents. Rodgers, a 6-foot-5, 295 lb. defensive tackle, ran an extremely impressive unofficial 4.72 in the 40-yard dash.
Even though he slipped on the turf twice during hitting drills, he was able to get up and finish strong. But, balance is something he will have to work on if he is going to compete at the next level. The Houston native had 24 tackles in his senior season — nine solo, 15 assisted — as well as a half-sack.
Jake Molinich, tight end
Tight end Jake Molinich ran an unofficial 4.9 40-yard dash and a swift 5.15 in the short shuttle. Despite his nerves, the senior displayed speed, agility and determination with every step he took.
“I felt prepared and I thought the nerves were fine until you get in your stance and your legs start shaking,” Molinich said. “It’s definitely a different experience that you can’t prepare for with the adrenaline pumping — but it’s a very awesome experience.”
Molinich did drop a few passes and seemed to struggle when the ball was thrown hard and close. The 6-foot, 247 lb. senior had 60 receiving yards and one touchdown this season.
Jeremiah Riordan, long snapper
Long snapper Jeremiah Riordan did not run the 40-yard dash or the short shuttle, but he did seemingly well with his snaps. The senior from Plymouth, MI stands at 6-foot-2, 230 lb.
Kayla Sterner is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Kayla Sterner is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is studying communications with the hopes of being a sideline reporter. In her spare time, she can be found in the gym, watching football or vibing to Mac Miller. Kayla is on Twitter @kaylasterner.