By Ivan Guierrez:
It’s the time of the year when college football players tryout for the chance at a dream job.
Today, Spartan football players will showcase their talents to NFL scouts at San Jose State’s Pro Day.
Zero players from SJSU were invited to this year’s NFL Scouting Combine so this is the opportunity to leave an impression on pro scouts.
On the offensive side of the ball several players are coming off record-setting seasons and overall impressive collegiate careers.
Billy Freeman: #18 TE, Sr., 6-3, 231 lb
In his five seasons as a tight end at San Jose State Billy Freeman became one of the more decorated athletes at his position in school history.
In his career, Freeman made 41 starts at tight end, reeling in 112 receptions, recording 1407 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. According to Sports-Reference.com he stands 24th all-time in receiving yards, 27th in touchdowns and 22nd in receptions in school history.
Freeman’s most notable season came in 2015, his junior campaign.
He ended the season as a John Mackey Award semifinalist for the top tight end in college football and First-team All-Mountain West. Over the year he was named a three-time John Mackey Weekly Tight End of the Week honorable mention. His six touchdowns on the season were one shy of the all-time school record for a single season.
Freeman would service as a complementary tight end at the pro level with his big-play ability and finesse skills to work around linebackers. What lacks for this explosive tight end is the ability to handle blocking assignments.
Freeman’s NFL comparison is similar to the likes of Zach Miller, Jessie James and Hunter Henry.
Tim Crawley: #2, Sr., 5-7, 169 lbs
The one-time, walk-on freshmen made the most of his opportunities as a member of the Spartans and became a standout wide receiver.
Crawley finished his college career on the school’s all-time record list — 7th in receptions, 12th in receiving yards and 19th in receiving touchdowns.
Crawley is coming off his most productive season in 2016.
Starting in all 12 games, Crawley had 55 receptions with 648 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
Crawley was seen as a model student-athlete during his five seasons at San Jose State University. In 2016 he became the first SJSU player to be honored as a National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete. He was also a 2016 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar national semifinalist.
Along with these accolades Crawley is a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, three-time SJSU Dean’s Scholar, Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Mountain West award recipient.
Crawly would fit excellent in a scheme as a slot receiver that utilizes bubble screens and receiver end-arounds. Crawley has the potential to be a big-play spark on a offense with his precise route running and rushing abilities.
Crawley’s downfall is his size. The 5’7 169 pound receiver could struggle in the pro game going up against bigger and more physical defensive backs.
Crawley’s NFL comparison is Percy Harvin, Taylor Gabriel and John Brown.
Kenny Potter: #5 QB, 6’2, 208 lb
In his two years starting at quarterback for the Spartans, Kenny Potter shot up the Spartans’ record list.
Potter ended college 12th all-time on the SJSU’s record list for passing yards, ninth in passing touchdowns, and 11th in completions — that all being in just 23 starts for the Spartans.
Potter is a dual-threat quarterback and used his agility and quick footwork to escape defenders. In his two seasons, Potter ran for 737 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Potter’s most productive season came in 2015 when he ended the season as the most accurate passer in the Mountain West with a 67.4 completion percentage. He was also nationally ranked 34th in passing efficiency with a 142.28 rating.
He capped off the season helping San Jose State win the 2015 Autonation Cure Bowl and received Most Valuable Player honors for the game.
In a rather unspectacular quarterback draft class, Potter has the chance to turn some heads with a great pro day.
Chances are Potter will go undrafted in the upcoming NFL draft but that is not say he won’t have a shot at getting into the league. With an impressive pro day Potter could get phone calls to sign as an undrafted free agent.
Where Potter lacks is in his deep ball ability. Potter does not posses a strong arm or great down-field accuracy. In times when he feels pressure, he is quick to scramble instead of staying in the pocket.
Potter’s NFL comparisons would be to Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott.
Stay tuned for The Spears updates on San Jose State’s pro day on March 14th at @TheSpearSJSU on Twitter.