BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nine UB seniors took to the turf on Wednesday at the Murchie Family Fieldhouse with the hopes of showing their skills, speed, and footwork in front of 14 NFL and CFL scouts at UB’s Pro Day.
“It was a great opportunity, I’m very thankful and grateful to be out here, being able to be out here in front of all these scouts,” UB senior safety Joey Banks said. “Whether it’s that we’re on the field in helmets or in here running, I’d prefer with the helmet on because I’d rather hit somebody than run, but it’s very enjoyable and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity.”
“It meant the world, just getting out here, coming back to UB, it’s a blessing,” UB defensive end Ledarius Mack said.
“I’ve been giving it my all since the end of the season,” UB senior linebacker Matt Otwinowski said. “Gotta give credit to Coach Sleeve, Coach McNally, Coach Heist, they’ve really been working hard with us. I just had a lot of fun today.”
“We’re really excited for them, the guys that have been in our program for a long time worked extremely hard for this day, chance to live their dream,” head coach Lance Leipold said. “To give a showing in front of NFL and CFL scouts, and we get the chance to do it in the Murchie Family Fieldhouse for the first time which is also extra special for us and for them.”
This senior class finished their time as Bulls with a bang by earning the first bowl game victory in school history. As the winningest senior class to come through UB, they’ve also seen their fair share of adversity, and Wednesday’s Pro Day caps off a special four years for many of these players.
“I think it’s a great finish and it’s just a testament to Coach Leipold and all the staff, all the seniors, everything that we’ve built,” Otwinowski said. “From the time that I came in as a freshman being 2-10, to where this program is now, it’s just a great way to finish. This building wasn’t even here when I started, just how far everything’s come is really amazing.”
“To win a bowl game, I wish we could’ve gotten to the MAC and won the MAC, for myself I had a good season, the team had a good season,” Banks said.
“We can always do better but I feel like it was a great way to cap off everything. It’s relieving, I know I keep saying that word, but you prepare for two months for the same things over and over again, now it’s done.”
“Everything leading up to this point was a great time, but honestly this was still the beginning of everything,” UB senior offensive lineman Evin Ksiezarczyk said. “It might just be the end of my college experience but this is just a little step to the final where I want to get to. Just gotta keep working, I’ll take a couple days off, but after that, just gotta keep working.”
“This is just a little step in that whole journey.”
All of the guys say they plan to take a few days off to rest after today’s Pro Day, but then it’s right back to work to continue to prepare in the hopes of hearing their name called in the draft and realize their dream of playing professional football.