On Wednesday morning, 15 former Tennessee Volunteer football players came together to showcase their skills at UT's "Pro Day."
For former Vol players such as quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson, Zach Rogers and Justin Hunter, it was the first time they had been on a field in an organized setting since the Vols' 37-17 victory over Kentucky to end the 2012 football season.
"I think everything went well for us guys," Patterson said. "We came in today. We've been working all week with each other. I think we all had a good day."
The Vols' familiarity with each other on the field helped the players display their skills for scouts and representatives from all 32 NFL teams.
"We didn't miss a beat, we were back to old times," Rogers said. "It was good to have a good quarterback out here and he did pretty well for himself."
For some former Vols like Hunter, Patterson, Bray and tight end Mychal Rivera, "Pro Day" represented an opportunity to improve on their performances at the NFL Combine in February.
Hunter showed some weight gain which was a good sign for a player who struggled to fill out his frame during his time at Tennessee. Hunter weighed in at 200 pounds, four pounds heavier than he did at the Combine. For other former Vols like tight end Ben Bartholomew and Rogers, who were not invited to the NFL Combine, "Pro Day" was their opportunity to put themselves in front of NFL scouts.
"I wanted to show my versatility," Bartholomew said. "I wanted to show that I could run a fast 40 (40-yard dash), I'm able to play tight end, run routes and catch balls and that I've got the strength to play the fullback position."
Rogers also felt he did well at "Pro Day" after running a 4.52, 40.
"I thought I had a pretty good showing today," Rogers said. "Always room for improvement, but I was pretty pleased with today."
The event was not only for Tennessee players that played for the Vols in 2012 but also featured Da'Rick Rogers and Montori Hughes, former Vol players who were dismissed from the team over the last two years.
"Leaving Tennessee was a wake-up call," Rogers said. "I had to go to Tennessee Tech and I was humbled. Being there with guys that would've killed to be at Tennessee. I had to look in the mirror. It was a lot of maturing I had to do, but I've done those things and I'm in the right direction. I'm making those strides."
For players getting ready for the NFL Draft, opportunities like the Combine or "Pro Day" represent a new challenge that heavily differs from playing in a game.
"It's just the biggest job interview of your life," Hunter said. "That's how you've got to treat it. Like I always get nervous before a game, same here and I think it brings the best out of you."