NFL Scouts and Media See Flames Shine During Pro Day
The Road to the 2022 NFL Draft came to the Mountain on Tuesday with Liberty Football hosting its annual Pro Day before a record-number of NFL personnel and media outlets.
Representatives from all 32 NFL franchises had team personnel at Liberty’s Pro Day, including two NFL head coaches and four NFL general managers. In total, more than 60 NFL team personnel watch Liberty’s 17 draft eligible players display their skills and make their case to play at the next level.
“It’s been an incredible morning,” said Flames Head Coach Hugh Freeze on the special day. “Today is a big day and it is exciting. It is something that we hope for people that are on the Mountain for the first time, third time or tenth time that they sense this is a special place.”
Additionally, Liberty had more than 100 credential media at Pro Day representing several national media outlets – including multiple reporters from the likes of ESPN and TheAthletic.com.
The highlight of the media reporting was a one-hour live coverage block by the NFL Network of quarterback Malik Willis 69-play throwing session. During the telecast, NFL Network broadcasters Steve Wyche and Ian Rapoport raved about Willis’ arm strength and throwing ability.
Willis’ final deep ball of the 45-minute throwing session was a dazzling 70-yard pass play to wide receiver Kevin Shaa that brought all gathered inside the Liberty Indoor Practice Facility to their feet. Within an hour of the NFL Network posting the video to their Twitter account, the video went viral with more than one million views inside of 60 minutes.
Willis is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks selected in next month’s NFL Draft (April 28-30 in Las Vegas). Willis is attempting to be Liberty’s second player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and the first since tight end Eric Green in 1990. In total, Liberty has had eight players selected in the NFL Draft in program history.
“I try to always go out there and have fun,” Willis told the gathered media following his workouts. “At the end of the day, we are blessed to be doing what we are doing. These are the guys that I’ve been working with the last three years. It is exciting that we get to go out there have all these eyes on us.”
A total of 17 Liberty draft eligible players participated in Pro Day: Ben Alexander (#17/S), Rashaad Harding (#0/LB), Trevor Hobbs (#12/TE), Johnny Huntley (#0/TE), Storey Jackson (#12/LB), Elijah James (#55/DL), Duron Lowe (#29/CB), Joshua Mack (#8/RB), Ralfs Rusins (#99/DL), Jayod Sanders (#15/DL), Tristan Schultz (#68/OL), Kevin Shaa (#2/WR), Cedric Stone (#23/S), DJ Stubbs (#5/WR), Skyler Thomas (#5/S) and Malik Willis (#7/QB).
Additionally, 2019 Liberty grad Frankie Hickson (#23/RB) and Virginia Tech’s Tre’ Turner (#11/WR) and Richmond’s Jonathan Johnson (#8/WR) also took part in the full-day workout session.
The 20 players that showcased their talents before the NFL personnel, regional and national media and the world through the NFL Network will now await their possible selection in the NFL Draft or free agency following the draft.
For continued coverage of Liberty’s draft eligible players during the NFL Draft season, be sure to follow www.LibertyFlames.com and the Liberty Football social media accounts (@LibertyFootball on Twitter and @LibertyFootball on Instagram).