MACON, Ga. — It’s not quite the game of football, but to these dozen athletes, it was the next best thing -- College Pro Day hosted by Mercer University.

“It's been a blessing just to compete out here one last time,” says soon-to-be Mercer graduate Chris Ellington. “Just special with it being Five Star Stadium, this place has meant a lot to me the last couple of years. It’s good to come out this last time.”

It’s the first opportunity for many of them to showcase their talents for NFL teams including the Falcons, Chargers, and Jaguars, as well as a Canadian football pro scout including the BC Lions. 

“It’s a dream come true coming from Washington County, a 478 kid who grew up around this area and loves this area,” says former Mercer standout Will Coneway, “I get a chance to showcase my skills and maybe take my game to the next level is a blessing.”

Mercer’s Five Star Stadium served as a host site, inviting Morehouse, Fort Valley State, and Carson Newman to work out with the Bears showing off their speed, strength, and agility on and off the gridiron.

Central Macon graduate Derrick Evans Jr. came back home to attend the workout session. Evans recently finished his student athlete career with Carson Newman in Tennessee. He says his experience was pretty amazing. “That’s been my goal since elementary school. I’m sure my teachers could tell you that’s all I used to talk about, playing in the NFL or NBA,” says Evans. “Now, those these dreams are coming reality. This is how I dreamed it would happen and it’s happening how I planned it out to be and I’m just happy with all the support I’ve gotten over the years, from everyone in Macon and my family and friends and my mom and dad, just being blessed.”

It’s not the camera, lights, and action of the combine, but nevertheless, it’s a chance that these underdogs relish -- a chance to one day play professional football, and this is just the beginning. 

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