NFL Teams Get an Up-Close Look at Standout Morehouse Football Players

Date Released: March 22, 2017

(L-R) Coach George Copeland, Emmanuel Parks, James Woods, Austin Benton & Coach Richard Freeman

By Vanzetta D. Evans

Three members of the 2016 Maroon Tigers football team had a chance to show off their skills to a number of NFL teams in March.

On Friday, March 17, defensive backs Austin Benton and Emmanuel Parks along with linebacker James Woods took part in Pro-Timing Day at Kennesaw State University. Benton and Parks were four-year starters for the team and Woods was named a pre-season All-Conference Selection in 2016.

This was an opportunity for schools with smaller football programs, like Morehouse, Georgia State, and Fort Valley State, to showcase their top players to professional football scouts. And Morehouse’s Benton did not disappoint.

“We were very impressed with Austin Benton’s performance,” said head football coach Richard Freeman. “He ran one of the fastest 40 times there.” Benton ran the 40-yard-dash in just 4.4 seconds. He also registered 36-inches in the vertical jump.

Some 20 NFL teams including the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were there to get an up-close look at the young athletes.

In 2010, Morehouse College hosted the multi-school event. That year, all 32 NFL teams came to campus, to see Maroon Tiger Ramon Harewood. An offensive lineman, Harewood was ultimately drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He went on to play four seasons and help the team win Super Bowl XLVII in 2012.

Freeman notes that Morehouse does not have the same facilities and training opportunities afforded to students at bigger sports schools like Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. Still, he hopes scouts can see the potential in players like Benton, Parks, and Woods.

“I really think that workout will give Austin a chance to have some further conversations with some pro teams,” added Freeman. “Number one, he’s a six-foot cornerback. Number two, he can run. A 4.4 is an extremely fast time. And then number three, he can jump. He has just a God-given athletic ability.”

Last Modified: March 22, 2017, 12:03 PM, by: Vanzetta Evans

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