Aztecs remain optimistic about NFL Draft Day

Ryan Posner

From Thursday to Saturday, May 8-10, the NFL will be holding its seven-round frenzy of a draft.

A couple members of the San Diego State football team hope to be a part of this frenzy, and remain hopeful a team will pick them up either during or after the draft.

Two of those players include strong safety Nat Berhe and fullback Chad Young.

05_05_14_sports_natberhe_MonicaLinzmeier05_05_14_sports_chadyoung_MonicaLinzmeierOne player who will likely not be drafted this year is running back Adam Muema, who after leaving the NFL Scouting Combine this February and citing that God had told him to, decided to skip his Pro Day.

“When he was here he was a hard worker, he always came in with a smile on his face,” Young said. “Don’t really know how all that unfolded, it’s tough to comment on. A lot of us have reached out to him.”

While Young was not selected to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, Berhe got the special opportunity to go to Indianapolis and showcase his abilities.

“I had a good experience at the combine. I didn’t post as good of a 40 (yard dash) as I wanted to, but it was nice to be included in that.” Berhe said.

As noted, Berhe did not put up a good time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, posting a 4.71. However, he was able to improve on it immensely by posting a 4.55 on his pro day.

“I think it was a true test of perseverance,” Berhe said. “I just had to keep fighting to make sure that I was going to put up better numbers.”

A little more emphasis was placed on Young’s pro day because he wasn’t at the Combine. He is hoping that the scouts are impressed by the tapes of his drills sent out to every NFL team.

Berhe is projected to go in the 4th-5th round range, while Young is not projected to get drafted, but can sign with any team concluding the draft. Though both players have received the traditional calls from NFL teams just checking in with them, getting things like medical records.

“It’s good to get those calls,” Berhe said. “It means you are doing something right.”

Young realizes his chances of getting drafted are slim, but being the 8th ranked fullback prospect according to CBS Sports, he will most likely sign with a team and hope to make the roster.

“I’m absolutely ready for it, I have been preparing for it the whole time,” Young said. “I came into SDSU as a walk on so I’m used to earning my spot on a team.”

Both players do not actually plan on watching the whole draft though, saying it is too agonizing to watch all seven rounds, and plan on just spending time with their family and hoping the phone rings.

Being a mid-round projection, Berhe knows that phone call is coming soon, and does not know how he will react when he gets it.

“The feeling I am going to get when I get that phone call is going to be indescribable,” Berhe said.

One thing that does come with being an NFL rookie is the hazing from the veteran players which can range from picking up a dinner tab, to shaving your head. Young is not too worried about all that though.

“Well I don’t have any hair on my head to shave, so I think I might be exempt from that hazing,” Young said.

Young and Berhe are about to enter new chapters of their careers, but will miss their time at SDSU and credit their teammates and coaches for getting them where they are today.

“There’s a little more camaraderie with college football,” Young said. “You know, you practice with these guys, then you go home and they’re your roommates.’ You get really close.”

As far as their favorite memory as an Aztec, both players declared that it was winning the Mountain West Conference in 2012.

“Being out there with your teammates knowing you are champions, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Berhe said.

Getting prepared for the draft is a long grueling process that started shortly after SDSU’s bowl game victory last December. A huge influence to Berhe through the process has been Allen Bradford, a linebacker for the New York Giants, while Young credits Ignition, an athletics performance group located in Cincinnati, for helping him get prepared with NFL players Luke Kuechley and John Connor.

“Almost all of the stuff you do to prepare for the draft is working out, it can get grueling, but they do a great job at Ignition,” Young said.

There are 14 players from SDSU active in the NFL right now, and it’s Berhe’s goal to show everybody that players coming out of his alma mater are the real deal.

“I definitely want to show people what kind of players SDSU can produce,” Berhe said.

Berhe is the highest projected Aztec to go in the draft but other players who hope to hear their name called include wide receiver Colin Lockett, offensive linemen Bryce Quigley and WR Tim Vizzi.

05_05_14_sports_natberhe_MonicaLinzmeier05_05_14_sports_natberhe_MonicaLinzmeierAll photos by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor

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