Football: Former FAU cornerback Cre’Von Leblanc to seniors at pro day: “Think like you belong”

FAU hosted pro day for 12 seniors as 30 scouts from 27 NFL teams watched on.


Defensive back Trey Hendrickson performs drills on the side while his teammates perform sprint drills during pro day Thursday. Alexander Rodriguez | Contributing Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor


ormer Florida Atlantic cornerback and current Chicago Bear Cre’Von LeBlanc went through the process of trying to get to the NFL a year ago, and he knew exactly what could be going through the minds of dozens of former Owls looking to impress the pro scouts in attendance.

FAU hosted pro day Wednesday for the outgoing seniors looking to prolong their football careers, working out in front of 30 NFL representatives from 27 teams including reigning NFC champions Atlanta Falcons to the Cleveland Browns. Leblanc knows what it’s like to go through the drills, and he had a couple pieces of advice.

“Stay focused,” LeBlanc said he told his former teammates. “Stay comfortable, relax, breathe. Don’t get over-confident, don’t over do it and don’t get of your comfort zone. Just go out there and do what you been training for months to do.”

LeBlanc said he was impressed by the performance of defensive end Trey Hendrickson and defensive tackle Shalom Ogbonda. Hendrickson is projected to be a third round pick by NFL Draft Scout.

Hendrickson did not participate in any running drills at Pro Day, but did work individual position drills that tested his skills, speed and strength. Ogbonda and defensive lineman Denzel Whitfield went through the same drills.

Hendrickson finished his collegiate career as FAU’s all time sack leader with 29, as well as 42 tackles for a loss. The NFL prospect was named the 2016 Conference USA Defensive MVP.

“It’s a just interview and you can’t take this lightly,” said Hendrickson. “This is just the beginning of the work that I am going to have to put in. Not letting your ego get in the way is a big part of maturing, and just getting ready to work when the draft call comes.”

Ogbonda, who finished his FAU career with 106 total tackles, was pleased with how he performed.

“I did pretty good out there,” said Ogbonda. “It was a great experience and I enjoyed. It brought out the best in me.”

Pro day continued on with separate drills for each individual position. Defensive backs and wide receivers were put through the same kind of drills, such as sprinting down field while changing directions, how well they can defend one-on-one coverage and how well they can intercept a ball.

An under-the-radar participant of pro day was punter Dalton Schomp, who finished 36th in the country in yards per punt this past season, but his pro day was over pretty quickly after he showed off his kicking skills.

“Think like ‘I belong [in the NFL],’” LeBlanc advised the pro day participants. “[Don’t think] like ‘wow I’m in the NFL, this is a dream come true.’ Once you know at a certain point you could possibly get that call, knowing that in your head just makes you feel that good. So you never want to get too cocky, always stay humble. I tell them that day in and day out.”

The full list of pro day participants included Hendrickson, Ogbonda, Whitfield, Schomp, wide receiver Tony Thomas, defensive backs D.J. Juste, Alfred Ansley III, Lester Thomas, Anthony Hamilton and Tevin Homer, offensive lineman Dillon DeBoer and tight end Tyler Cameron. Toree Boyd of Howard University also participated in the drills.

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.