Former Central Michigan linebacker Nick Bellore is glad to see the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine in the rear-view mirror.
The Whitefish Bay, Wis., native, who measured in at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds, deemed it a successful trip to Indianapolis. His 4.84-second, 40-yard dash time did not meet his goal prior to the combine — he wanted to hit the 4.6-4.7s range — but he finished in the top 10 for linebackers on the bench press (23 reps of 225 pounds), the 20-yard shuttle (4.28s) and the broad jump (9 feet, 8 inches). There were 27 linebackers who worked out in front of NFL scouts.
But the four-day stop was strenuous, to say the least.
“I was at the hospital, first day, doing all the medical stuff for about seven hours,” said Bellore, who had formal interviews with the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints.
Prospects also came to the stadium to undergo various team physicals, taking about six hours.
But that wasn’t all.
“We were up at 4:30 in the morning for a drug test,” Bellore said.
One thing he enjoyed at the combine was the interview process, which varies between formal and informal visits. Bellore said as many as 30 teams grabbed him for an informal visit, in a ballroom setting, “one after another for hours on end.”
But there’s a catch.
Numerous media outlets reported that Bellore had contact with the Detroit Lions during the combine. Detroit Free Press beat writer Dave Birkett tweeted that “CMU LB Nick Bellore said he has met with Lions scouts at the combine after meeting with them last month at the Shrine game.”
But that never happened.
“It’s kind of a funny thing. I don’t really know where that came from,” Bellore said, laughing. “To be honest with you, I probably met with every team in the NFL except for the Lions.”
Bellore did talk to Lions representatives at the East-West Shrine Game, however.
The CMU alumnus trained in Bradenton, Fla., at the IMG Academy since he graduated in mid-December. The simple things have evaded him since his departure from Michigan.
“I really missed (CMU),” he said. “It’s nice to see some snow, as weird as that sounds. I hadn’t seen any snow for a while … (Last night) was the first time I had driven a car since, like, the first week of December. I’ve just been driving golf carts around the training facility in Florida.”
Bellore is back at CMU, back to his apartment at Lexington Ridge — “the hood,” he calls it — where his stay is open-ended. His roommates, former players Brett Hartmann (punter) and Sean Murnane (defensive tackle), are away training until CMU’s pro day on March 14.
He will work out with the Chippewas’ strength and conditioning coach, Rick Perry, until then. However, with the NFL’s uncertain labor situation, the stay could be extended.
“If there is a lockout and there’s no mini camps to go to,” Bellore said, “I see myself probably getting a place here in Mount Pleasant and working out here at Central in the summertime until that stuff straightens itself out.”
If he goes undrafted, he will not be able to sign with a team until the new collective bargaining agreement is in place.
“Just got to do good (at the pro day) so you can get drafted,” he said.