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Ex-Toledo players display their skills for NFL

03/21/2017, 12:50am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Whitmer grad Norton, others able to give decision-makers one last look before draft

For University of Toledo graduate Storm Norton, Toledo’s Pro Day on Monday was another chance to prove himself on the way to a possible selection in the NFL draft.

Norton, a Whitmer graduate, was one of twenty Toledo players who took part in testing and drills in front of large group of onlookers, which included NFL scouts as well as Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell and Lions general manager Bob Quinn.

“It was definitely fun to come back out here and run around with some of the guys again and get one more chance,” Norton said. “These last two months has been a grind and I believe it prepared me well. I kind of knew what to expect coming in and I’m definitely happy with the day I had.”

IN PICTURES: UT Pro Day

Norton played in the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 21 and said he came out of the game feeling good about the way he performed.

“I was just trying to get my name out there and get some exposure and I thought I played really well,” Norton said. “I showed my versatility playing right and left [tackle] and I think that can help me down the road as well.”

Norton said he doesn’t pay much attention to draft rankings or mock drafts.

“I try to focus on myself and do what I can do,” Norton said. “I know I have my tape out there and I know I can play football and I will just try to go from there. I think today helped me out a little bit. I came in wanting to show good attitude and effort. If I mess up on a drill just go to the next one and I can’t let it faze me and just try to be consistent.”

Rockets standout running back Kareem Hunt and tight end Michael Roberts are projected by most experts to be drafted in the middle rounds of this season’s draft. CBSsports.com lists Hunt as the seventh-ranked running back prospect and 123rd overall.

Hunt came into Monday’s Pro Day hoping to impress scouts with his versatility and his ability to be a three-down back.

“I just wanted to show that I’m a complete guy,” Hunt said. “I like to show that I can do it all — run the ball and even catch the ball well out of the backfield. I was just trying to show my great hands and little things like that.”

Hunt, who participated in the NFL Combine, was thrilled to be a part of the process.

“It’s something I have been watching since I was a young teenager and I learned a lot from it,” Hunt said. “I met a lot of new faces and people and just had a good time competing with some of the best of them.”

Roberts is listed as the 13th-best prospect in a loaded tight end class and 211th overall according to CBSsports.com.

“I feel like it is one of the best ever,” Roberts said of this year’s tight end group. “Honestly, in my opinion I feel like the tight end class is the most valuable position in this draft class, the deepest position. I’m a big fan of all those guys. There is some great talent and some athletes and some people I look forward to watching them grow in their career.”

Roberts also took part in the NFL Combine and said he soaked in the experience.

“It was a great opportunity with a lot of talent,” Roberts said. “I’ve become a great fan of a lot of players around the country. I got to see their work ethic and how they go about their business.”

Defensive tackle Treyvon Hester, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury, did not participate in Pro Day. Hester was also invited to the NFL Combine but did not participate.

“The shoulder is doing good,” Hester said. “It’s progressing well and I’m ready to get back after it and humbled to be able to look back and see my guys come out here and work hard.”

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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Toledo running back Kareem Hunt goes through position drills for NFL scouts during UT's Pro Day at Fetterman Training Center. BLADE/JETTA FRASER

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