Zombo, other seniors use Pro Day as chance to be noticed
While Wednesday’s Pro Day gave quarterback Dan LeFevour and receiver Antonio Brown another chance to shine, it represented the only chance for many of CMU’s former players.
Both players were hounded and critiqued by pro scouts and the media for every step and move they made, but another senior watched from the background, clinging to dreams of playing in the NFL.
Frank Zombo went into workouts Wednesday with the realization that his football career could be coming to a close. Instead, he ended with a chance to reach the next level — perhaps at a different position.
Zombo (6-foot 3, 254 pounds) started the day benching 23 times and running the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds, a time that exceeded most expectations.
By the time Pro Day ended, Zombo, who played defensive end all four years at CMU, was getting looks at tight end from the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. He said he also received calls from the Detroit Lions.
“Prior to this, no one really knew I could play tight end,” Zombo said. “I’ve really never had any coaching or any technique training — I just kind of just winged it today — and I think a lot of them were impressed with my athletic ability at tight end.”
Zombo was recruited by CMU and moved to defensive end after being selected as an all-state wide receiver at Sterling Heights Stevenson High School. He had not caught a pass since fall 2005.
That, however, quickly changed last weekend as LeFevour, without a tight end for his passing drills, asked Zombo to fill in. With the little time he had to prepare, Zombo said he received help on routes from former receiver Bryan Anderson and former tight end Joe Bockheim.
“This helped Frank a lot, and that was great for him,” LeFevour said. “He did a great job catching the ball. I saw him in the defensive drills, but also doing some stuff offensively — it’s going to be hard to cut a guy that can do so much.”
Zombo finished the 2009 season with 45 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, an interception and four fumble recoveries. He will take the next few days off before he continues his training and starts workouts with NFL teams heading into the NFL Draft on April 22-24.
“I’m really happy with how everything went,” he said. “It’s going to be nice sleeping today because I’ve been so nervous for this for the last two weeks. All the preparation that’s gone into it has finally paid off.”
Cornerback Josh Gordy also put himself on the radar of teams with his performance. Gordy ran the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds, the fastest time of the day by any player.
He said the Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs have all shown early interest, requesting paperwork and background checks.
“I felt pretty good doing everything,” Gordy said. “They all said I put up really good numbers and form well. They liked my ball skills.”